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Authorities Bust Raleigh Convenience Stores Selling Drugs

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RALEIGH — Police and ALE agents casing out two Raleigh convenience stores found that customers could buy more than bread and milk. Several store clerks have been charged with selling crack cocaine.

The southeast Raleigh convenience stores being investigated are not strangers to drug dealing. Officers say this was the second time in four months employees have been busted for drugs.

Undercover agents say employees at Watson's Mini Mart and Wee Bob Mini Mart were so brazen about selling the drugs they told the customers to stand back, they could only sell to one person at a time.

"It was really that obvious," says ALE agent Ken Pike. "They went in and approached the individual and inquired about the availability of controlled substance, and the person unhesitantly sold them the drug."

Ouida Exum owns Wee Bob Mini Mart. Two of her employees are charged with selling crack. She says she had no idea what was going on.

Exum says she has been asking police to help clean up the area, but now it has come back to haunt her because her ABC license may be suspended.

"But what I'm saying is I want a response from the police with help without penalty to myself when I ask for help," she said. "I think that's reasonable."

Residents in the area have been working closely with police and the ALE to clean up southeast Raleigh. They say they are doing it for the children.

"The kids are getting on the bus on the corners near these places to go to school, and it's deplorable," says Raleigh resident Junious Sorrell.

As a result of the joint effort between the community, ALE and the Raleigh Police, seven convenience store employees have been charged with felony drug offenses since January. Photographer: Joe Anthony