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Drug raid targets mobile home park owner

Posted April 17, 2010

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— A three-year-long undercover investigation into a drug ring in Orange County culminated Thursday with the arrests of a mobile home park owner and his girlfriend, along with the seizure of vehicles including drag-racing cars.

Clay Jo McCauley, 47, and Melissa Allison Dupree, 31, were arrested on charges of selling cocaine and crack cocaine. The case is expected to be handed over to federal investigators, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

McCauley's mobile home park on Mount Willis Road was raided Thursday by Orange and Harnett county sheriff's deputies, state revenue agents and federal Drug Enforcement Agent officers. The North Carolina National Guard provided air support.

"This particular address had been the source of complaints in the community for some time," Maj. Charles Blackwood, with the Orange County Sheriff's office said in a news release. "It was a difficult investigation which presented a number of challenges for narcotics investigators.

Agents seized a fuel drag-race car, super-stock drag-race car, a Ford extended cab pickup truck, two car trailers, a crated super-stock race engine, several ATVs and assorted tools and garage equipment.

Those items were seized to satisfy income tax McCauley should have paid on the drug sales, officials said. His mobile home park will likely also be seized. State law requires residents to pay taxes on illegal drug sales.

The undercover probe took a long time because investigators wanted to pinpoint McCauley's supplier, Blackwood said. A Harnett County sheriff's deputy gradually earned McCauley's trust until he was allowed to make significant purchasees.

Several other people in the mobile home park were arrested on outstanding warrants.

McCauley has a history of charges of having, making and selling drugs dating back to 1990, Department of Correction records show.

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