Orange County

Sweeping undercover operation nabs 32 people for drugs in Orange County

OxyContin, in 80 mg pills.
OxyContin, in 80 mg pills. TNS

Thirty-two individuals have been arrested for drug violations as a result of an undercover operation which began last October.

Authorities, with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, say their operation targeted a full range of distribution, from street level dealers up to Mexican cartel sourced drugs, within Orange County.

The drugs and weapons seized:

▪ Marijuana: 3,682.59 grams.

▪ Cocaine: 5,540.23 grams.

▪ Heroin: 32 grams.

▪ Psilocybin mushrooms: 20 grams.

▪ Prescription medications: A combined 162 dosages of oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl, suboxone, Xanax and Adderall.

▪ Weapons: 6 firearms.

The arrests

The investigators oversaw and directed illicit purchases of controlled substances.

Warrants calling for the arrest of approximately 40 individuals were written for 110 felony and 30 misdemeanor charges.

“Investigators continue to search for the balance of suspects who have not yet been arrested,” Orange County Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Chan McDade wrote in an email.

Deputies, officers and agents pursued investigations within Hillsborough, Carrboro and Chapel Hill city limits and throughout the pastoral regions of the county.

“It is important to continue to focus enforcement efforts on the sale of illegal narcotics given that many other crimes are driven by the drug trade,” said Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood. “Removal of this criminal element improves the quality of life for everyone in our community.”

The operation partnered the Sheriff’s Office with the Raleigh DEA Task Force, the Raleigh-Durham FBI Safe Streets Task Force, the U.S. Marshal’s Joint Fugitive Task Force and the State Bureau of Investigation.

“The operation was a collaborative effort between numerous agencies, as well as other divisions within the Sheriff’s Office, and members of the affected communities,” Blackwood said.

The Hillsborough, Carrboro and Chapel Hill police departments, too, contributed.

Colin Warren-Hicks: 919-419-6636, @CWarrenHicks