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An undercover drug operation over the last several months has been conducted between the Roanoke Rapids Police Department and its narcotics and patrol divisions along with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

The aim of the Operation Gone with the Wind, according to Chief Chuck Hasty, has been to identify people illegally selling and distributing narcotics in the Roanoke Valley. “The use of illegal narcotics contributes to the current epidemic of drug overdoses and increasing criminal activity in the Roanoke Valley area.”

The undercover operation has resulted in the identification of numerous street-level dealers as well as several mid-level dealers who, with the help of the United States Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of North Carolina may be prosecuted on the federal level as part of Take Back North Carolina.

Hasty said Investigators are in the process of obtaining warrants on numerous individuals.

Hasty and narcotics Sergeant Jamie Hardy said the police department is not in a position to discuss the number of people who have been identified through the investigation.

Hardy did say investigators have been focusing on dealers in cocaine, heroin and fentanyl.

In a statement Hardy said, “ … If you have sold illegal narcotics in the last several months you will see us soon. If you would like to come talk with an investigator about this narcotics investigation, please call the police department.”

Hasty said citizen outcry called for enforcement action to reduce the local availability and illegal use of narcotic drugs. “The success of this undercover operation is attributed to assistance from citizens of the Roanoke Valley area, who are an important asset to investigations.”

Said narcotics Investigator Chris Babb in the statement, “Only with your help can we fight this epidemic that has infected our small community. The information you have may seem like something small and irrelevant to you, but to us, it could be the last piece of the puzzle that the investigation needs to be completed.”

Said Hasty: “The Roanoke Rapids Police Department would like to thank our citizens, the Weldon Police Department, and the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office for their cooperative efforts throughout this ongoing drug operation.”

Additional arrests are possible as cases develop through these investigations.

Any citizen wanting to report any suspicious/illegal/narcotics activity is encouraged to call Hardy or Babb at 252-678-3939 or 252-676-4001.