More than 200 arrested in ALE sting

By: Bladen Journal

More than 200 people were arrested on alcohol, drug and other charges during an operation Aug. 24 as part of a statewide crackdown by the N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement.

During the operation, ALE special agents in Fayetteville intervened during a shooting following a disturbance outside a Food Lion on Rosehill Road and provided medical aid to the shooting victim until EMS arrived.

In Alamance County, special agents and members of the Burlington Police Department arrested multiple employees and patrons involved in the sale of controlled substances at a gas station on North Church Street.

In Iredell County, special agents detected employees of Apps and Taps in Mooresville, using controlled substances, selling alcoholic beverages to intoxicated patrons, and other ABC offenses.

In Buncombe County, agents arrested an individual involved in selling cocaine and heroin who had previously arranged the robbery of an undercover officer.

In Mecklenburg County, although ALE special agents did not fire, they were involved in an police shooting at Tropix Bar and Lounge, 4701 N. Tryon St., Charlotte. The incident occurred while special agents were confronting an armed individual.

ALE said the operation used every available ALE special agent in partnership with the State Bureau of Investigation, the Highway Patrol, the Division of Motor Vehicles License and Theft Bureau, N.C. Wildlife Resource Officers, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, county sheriff’s offices, municipal police departments and other law enforcement partners. The goal was to prevent violence and other criminal activity at locations that sell alcoholic beverages, both at Alcoholic Beverage Control permitted establishments and non-permitted locations, such as illegal bars.

The 226 arrests resulted in 382 charges including 141 alcoholic beverage-related charges, 134 drug-related charges and 31 felonies. ALE special agents submitted violation reports to the N.C. ABC Commission documenting regulatory or law violations they observed at 13 ABC-permitted businesses. The violations could result in fines, suspensions or revocations of the ABC permits.

Four firearms were seized, along with various amounts and types of controlled substances.

“ALE special agents constantly work towards public safety everywhere alcohol is sold,” Terrance Merriweather said in a news release. He’s the head of Alcohol Law Enforcement. “Operations such as this use every ALE agent in the state as well as our law enforcement partners to achieve this goal. Addressing violence is one important part of this objective.”

The counties in which this operation was conducted included Jackson, Pitt, Wake, Orange, Durham, Forsyth, Madison, Cumberland, Alamance, Buncombe, Mecklenburg, Iredell, Catawba and New Hanover.

ALE’s 109 specially trained agents have the authority to arrest and take investigatory action for any criminal offense. Their primary responsibility is the enforcement of Alcoholic Beverage Control laws and state lottery laws. ALE is a branch of the SBI.

Bladen Journal