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Sheriff: Wake becoming distribution hub for drug lords

Posted January 1

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— Sheriff Donnie Harrison says Wake County is becoming a distribution center for cocaine and heroin, and he needs more manpower to battle drug traffickers.

Harrison has asked the Wake County Board of Commissioners for $103,600 in the 2015-16 budget to hire three more officers for the Special Operations Division of the Wake County Sheriff's Office. The board is expected to discuss the request on Monday.

The 11-member Special Operations Division handles narcotics investigations, but the sheriff said working more than one case at a time, including obtaining search warrants and handling undercover drug buys, stretches them too thin.

"There's a lot of dope coming through here we're missing, and we know it," Harrison said.

Investigators have seen an increase in cocaine and heroin – both in the overall amount and in the quality of the drugs – in recent years, he said.

"We're seeing some of the drugs, especially the cocaine we're getting, hasn't been cut as much. So, that shows its coming here first or second maybe," the sheriff said, adding that it is then cut up and sold here or shipped to other parts of the country.

"Usually, when you see the pure form of the drugs, this is becoming a hub," he said.

Wake County is attractive to large-scale drug traffickers because of the Triangle's population base, easy connections to Interstates 40, 85 and 95 and the network of flights in and out of Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Harrison said.

The sheriff cited 46 kilograms of cocaine found last month in a tractor-trailer and noted that the Special Operations Division has seized more than $177 million in narcotics and made more than 1,100 arrests in the past three-and-a-half years.

"We just want to get that drug dealer off the street so our kids won’t be taking drugs or have the opportunity to get those drugs," he said. "If we can take anything off the street, we’ve accomplished a lot."

26 Comments

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  • Marcy Lyn Jan 3, 2016
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    That's because people fight tax increase to pay the salaries ! It needs to be higher to secure trained poice officers.

  • bigwilliejohnson4phun Jan 3, 2016

    Shiloh your thought process is suspect, harvesting humans for profit is okay? Perhaps a fine meal of Soylent green would be to your liking?

  • bigwilliejohnson4phun Jan 3, 2016

    This is just a play for more of our tax money.

  • Greg Klayton Jan 3, 2016
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    Rob, I think we are in agreement.

  • Greg Klayton Jan 3, 2016
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    "When we pulled out of Afganistan, we left 11,000 to 12,000 men to guard the poppie fields."

    My first inclination when I read this was it's pure nonsense. Then I did some research. I found a report from Geraldo Riviera of none other than Fox News reporting pretty much the same thing. https://youtu.be/AgKmJESBFsw

    The report claims that Marines MUST guard this crop to win the hearts and minds of the indigenous population. Now there is no proof that any American business is directly profiting. However, when jails and prisons become increasingly privatized, you can see that the interest of growers and the interest of these private American companies coincide.

  • Dixie Ryder Jan 3, 2016
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    Everyone has choices, THEY make. If you read through the comments its all explained. The war on drugs is big business. When we pulled out of Afganistan, we left 11,000 to 12,000 men to guard the poppie fields. If you haven't figured out how, and why its here? Than your the problem. Since the end of Vietnam (1975) the influx was here. Oil crisis right. Iran-Contra brought us Aids & Crack. Full circle again, who is our Govt apeasing this week.

  • Shiloh Barkley Jan 2, 2016
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    Couldn't care less about the war on drugs. I'd rather my tax dollars go to planned parenthood.

  • Nathan Blackmon Jan 2, 2016
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    This heroin epidemic in the United Sates is quite possibly the fault of the United Sates. The amount of heroin produced in Afghanistan is five times worse now than before the United States went into there roughly thirteen years ago. Afghanistan is responsible for ninety percent of the heroin produced in the world today.

  • Rob Creekmore Jan 2, 2016
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    What happens once someone kicks the habit and wants a second shake at life and they have a felony on record? They can't find suitable work, give up and continue to use and/or resort to nefarious means to make ends meet. You don't understand addiction if you think someone won't use because it's illegal. If such obtuseness solved actual problems, the US would have brought peace to the Middle East and resolved our addiction issues years ago. All that unyielding attitude has provided is a booming business for private prisons and military contractors.

  • Jim Frei Jan 2, 2016
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    How's that war on drugs working out?

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