North Carolina State Fair

Dozen State Fair workers face drug-related charges

Posted October 24, 2011

— Wake County deputies arrested 12 carnival workers at the State Fair on drug distribution and possession charges, Sheriff Donnie Harrison said Monday.

Deputies seized about $10,000 in drugs in the investigation, including about $4,000 in oxycodone and $3,000 in heroin, Harrison said.

"We had heroin, crack cocaine, powdered cocaine, marijuana," he said. "I don't know whether heroin is coming back or what it is, but, yes (finding that) did surprise me."

Those arrested sold concessions and worked games on the midway at the fair, he said. No ride operators were charged.

One ride operator said mixing drugs with carnival rides would be a recipe for disaster.

"People spin around at 60 miles an hour in a circle. You've got to be focused. You can't be on drugs," operator Jake Harrell said.

The fairgrounds essentially becomes a small city during the State Fair's 10-day run every year, with 70,000 to 150,000 people a day streaming through. Joel Keith, chief of the State Fairgrounds Police, still called it the "safest city in America."

2011 N.C. State Fair Wake deputies crack down on drug-dealing at State Fair

"We have a lot of undercover agents that you don't see that work the crowds every day, and we're glad they're here," Keith said.

Other than the drug arrests, only nine other people were charged with crimes during the fair, he said.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office, which was in charge of fair security for the first time this year after previously sharing duties with the Raleigh Police Department, decided to aggressively enforce drug laws, Harrison said. More undercover officers will patrol the fair next year to ramp up enforcement even more, he said.

"We want a safe fair. We see something we think we need to look at, whether it is drugs or whatever it may be, we're going to be aggressive on it," he said.


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  • A.V.N. Oct 26, 2011

    Donnie Harrison You are the Man! Wish you were here in this town!

  • A.V.N. Oct 26, 2011

    They say that the dealers were the food servers and the game stands. Now why would i eat what a drug dealer sells as food? No telling what they put into those toys or the food! Yuch!

  • so you dont like my opinion ok Oct 25, 2011

    Good job, well done guys.

  • Lead by Example Oct 25, 2011

    Glad the Wake County Sheriff's Office made these arrests.

  • Mark Hayes Oct 25, 2011

    I'm sure if the drug testing policy was enforced for all employees of any business including government not random but monthly we would see where all these drugs are going that the cartels are getting rich off from our own countries habits,the fact we do not strive to enforce testing is the fact we are afraid of what we would find,the truth is a scary thing'why are we fighting drug testing,because of the number of people doing drugs,you can't just blame the source since without the need they would have no clients.

  • bjm011366 Oct 25, 2011

    Mr D3. That would be giving it away, so I think you're safe..

  • trublondmom715 Oct 25, 2011

    You noticed, they only bothered to report this AFTER the fair had ended! I'm sure they're hoping no one will remember this come next year.

  • Me again Oct 25, 2011

    So I saw Fried Coke being sold. Will they have Fried Heroin and Fried Oxycodone on next year's menu?

  • Mr. D3 Oct 25, 2011

    Hope they didn't use the "powdered cocaine" on the funnel cakes

  • Whatever Geez Oct 25, 2011

    I would have to be doped up on something in order to run those cash hungry games....what a boring job.