Months-long drug, firearms investigation in Craven County leads to over 60 arrested

Crime Tracker

NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — Over 60 people are behind bars after a months-long drug and firearms sting operation in Craven County, Sheriff Chip Hughes said in a press conference on Monday.

Multiple departments within the Craven County Sheriff’s Office worked together in the months-long push. According to Hughes, his deputies responded to 143 drug overdoses in 2020. That’s why he said he will continue to push to get criminals selling drugs and using illegal firearms out of the community.

Some of the charges in the sting included trafficking and intent to sell heroin, meth, cocaine and other drugs.

According to a press release from the sheriff’s office, the sheriff’s office arrested 64 individuals and seized approximately $33,000 and five vehicles as part of the operation. A total of 14 search warrants were executed.

Hughes said the Special Investigations Bureau, Criminal Investigations Bureau, patrol, and K9 deputies worked together to identify and arrest individuals selling illegal drugs in Craven County. Hughes said his office seized a total of 1,866 grams of methamphetamine, or 3,800 dosage units, with a street value of $130,000; 626 grams of crack and cocaine, or 1,000 dosage unit, street value $65,000; and 465 grams of heroin and fentanyl, or 2,500 dosage units, street value $70,000.

“Every dosage unit we get off the street I like to equate to a life being saved,” said Hughes. “That’s why this is such a priority.”

Hughes said a total of 35 firearms were seized during the operation, with a number of those arrested also facing felony firearms charges.

“These figures do not include overdoses that occurred in cities where police departments responded, and other overdoses where law enforcement was not called,” Hughes said.

Craven County District Attorney Scott Thomas said the sheriff’s office has been “very proactive” in its illegal drugs and firearms investigations.

“The only thing worse than a drug dealer is a drug dealer who possesses and uses an illegal firearm,” said Thomas. “Most drug dealers that’s a tool of their trade, they have stolen firearms, and they use those firearms which creates the crimes of violence that we also deal with in our district.”

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