Multi-agency bust hits Red Springs drug, gun site
Posted May 30, 2008 10:06 a.m. EDT
Updated May 30, 2008 5:31 p.m. EDT
Red Springs, N.C. — Federal and local authorities, backed by National Guard air support, raided a rural site early Friday where police said drugs, guns and stolen goods had been received and sold for as long as 20 years.
Red Springs Police Chief Troy McDuffie said the 6:30 a.m. raid took place at a collection of mobile homes and outbuildings on Johnson Road known as the "Compound." The rural site is surrounded by fields of corn and hay.
"We consider it a major player, not just in the Red Springs area but in surrounding counties," McDuffie said.
The "Compound" distributed large quantities of crack cocaine and marijuana, sold illegal firearms and fenced stolen property for years, he said.
A man who lived nearby said drugs and prostitutes were readily available at the site.
"Whatever you wanted, they sold it," said the man, who asked not to be identified to protect his family's safety. He noted, "Those people are mean."
Authorities had arrested nine people by mid-afternoon, including six at the "Compound." Several sites in the Parkton community and in Cumberland County also were raided in the operation, which was code-named "Hot Soup," McDuffie said.
The names of those arrested weren't released, and the warrants detailing the charges against them remained sealed under a court order until at least next week, he said.
Authorities also didn't release details of what was found during the raid.
"Hot Soup" was the result of a yearlong joint operation between the Red Springs Police Department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, McDuffie said.
More than 100 law enforcement officers took part in the operation, including deputies from Cumberland and Hoke counties and Fayetteville police officers.