RALEIGH – Over the weekend, ALE special agents arrested more than 200 individuals for alcohol, drug and firearm charges during a state-wide crackdown in partnership with local, state and federal agencies. Each of the eight districts targeted crime and violence at both ABC-licensed and illegal alcohol businesses.
“ALE special agents routinely partner with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in order to have a greater impact on public safety as it relates to the sales of alcoholic beverages” said, Bryan House, interim director of ALE. “We find crimes involving alcoholic beverages regularly have strong associations to other criminal behaviors that often result in negative effects on communities.”
Across the state, special agents executed two search warrants, removed three impaired drivers from roadways, seized various types of controlled substances and 11 firearms, one of which was stolen. Of the 399 charges, 31 were felony charges, 136 were alcoholic beverage-related charges and 109 were drug-related charges.
ALE special agents addressed violence, drug use and underage drinking at ABC businesses and house parties. In Fayetteville, special agents assisted local police after a shooting occurred at a residential illegal bar. ALE charged the host with selling alcohol without ABC permits. Two owners were charged after special agents raided a store in Johnston County and an illegal night club in Durham County. In Leicester, a juvenile at an underage party was transported to the hospital after being struck in the face. ALE seized alcohol, marijuana and drug paraphernalia from the residence. In Asheville, special agents stopped a vehicle leaving an ABC-licensed outlet and seized a handgun, ammunition, marijuana, THC vape pen cartridges, and oxycodone from the driver.
ALE special agents will submit violation reports to the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Commission for criminal and regulatory violations at 14 ABC-permitted businesses. The violations could result in fines, suspensions, or revocations of ABC permits.
Agencies involved in the operation included U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicle’s License and Theft Bureau, Pitt County ABC, Mecklenburg County ABC, Boone Police Department, Western University Police Department, and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. Counties involved in the operation included New Hanover, Columbus, Nash, Edgecombe, Cumberland, Durham, Johnston, Wake, Alamance, Guilford, Randolph, Mecklenburg, Burke, Buncombe and Polk.
ALE’s 109 specially trained agents have the authority to arrest and take investigatory action throughout North Carolina. Their primary responsibility is the enforcement of Alcoholic Beverage Control, tobacco, state lottery and gambling laws.