Local News

$800K in illegal drugs seized in major sting

Posted April 20, 2010 1:27 p.m. EDT
Updated April 20, 2010 8:47 p.m. EDT

Federal investigators seized more than $800,000 worth of illegal drugs, and approximately 50 people from Nash and Wilson counties have been sentenced to federal prison in a major drug trafficking sting called Operation Cold Wind, authorities announced Tuesday.

Agents also seized nearly $500,000 in cash, 35 firearms and three vehicles during the three-year investigation, U.S. Attorney George Holding said at a news conference in Wilson.

"A clear message to drug dealers has been sent that, if they decide to ply their trade here in this judicial district, they can expect to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Holding said.

The investigation involved the movement of crack cocaine and powdered cocaine into Nash and Wilson counties, where it was then distributed to mid-level narcotics traffickers.

Holding said the bust ties into to several recent investigations focused on Mexican drug cartels trafficking drugs through Eastern North Carolina with a focus on areas near Interstates 95 and 40.

"Eastern North Carolina is becoming a trans-shipment point of drugs coming over the border from Mexico because of our interstate system," he said.

Authorities said Tuesday that operations like Cold Win make a serious dent in nationwide trafficking from Mexico, and have a major impact in local communities.