NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes and District Attorney Scott Thomas spoke Wednesday about a drug investigation that led to the arrest of numerous people within the county.

Hughes said the investigation led to 143 felony charges, 71 of which were for trafficking charges, meaning they were selling and distributing a significant amount of illegal drugs. He also said officials seized significant quantities of meth, cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and other pills.

Hughes said every dosage unit they are able to seize equates to one life saved, adding the sheriff’s office has made prosecution for illegal drugs in Craven County their number one priority because these drugs have taken more lives than anything else.

Click the above photo gallery to see pictures of those arrested.

According to the sheriff’s office, over the past several months 60 people have been charged with felony drug and illegal firearms offenses. While most of these arrests resulted from investigations conducted by the office’s Special Investigations Bureau and Patrol Bureau, many resulted from citizen complaints that identified drug dealers and drug abusers who were making their communities unsafe.

In the process, 24 illegal firearms were removed from the streets. The drugs seized include:

  • 10,368 dosage units of methamphetamine
  • 9,176 dosage units of cocaine and crack cocaine
  • 8,400 dosage units of heroin and fentanyl
  • 621 dosage units of illegal pills

Hughes said his sheriff’s office has made prosecuting drug offenders their number one priority.

“Because it has taken more lives in this county than anything else,” Hughes said.

Thomas and Hughes also spoke on resources they offer to offenders who want to seek help for drug addiction.

“But for those who are repeat offenders, and those who continue to sell and dealing drugs in our district, the answer to that is to charge him to prosecute and we seek active prison sentences,” Thomas said.