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26 people arrested in multiagency drug investigation

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation led a seven-month investigation that ultimately resulted in the arrest of 26 people across four counties. Agents from the SBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Asheville Police Department and Haywood County and Henderson County sheriff’s offices contributed to the operation. Law enforcement officers in possession of search warrants raided locations throughout Henderson, Buncombe, Haywood and Madison counties.

The SBI reported that the investigation had focused on three men, age 34, 43 and 46, whom they viewed as the ringleaders of a large-scale drug distribution organization. The men allegedly oversaw a network of associates who assisted them with selling cocaine in the western half of the state. Authorities have charged the three men with various counts related to operating an ongoing criminal enterprise and conspiracy to traffic controlled substances.

The law enforcement agents involved say they collected evidence during their searches that included 9 pounds of methamphetamine and 3 pounds of cocaine. Agents said that they also seized multiple firearms, over $90,000 in cash and small quantities of marijuana and heroin pills.

Any people rounded up during a drug raid have the right to speak with an attorney. The representation of a criminal defense attorney might reduce a person’s vulnerability to aggressive prosecution. Legal advice might also prevent a person from making a hasty decision to enter a plea before fully evaluating defense options. An attorney may question sources of evidence, such as testimony from unreliable informants or property seized during an unlawful search. An attorney with knowledge of criminal law might find that the evidence does not support all drug charges aimed at the defendant and ask a prosecutor to drop some charges. These efforts might place a person in a stronger position during a trial or increase the possibility of lenient plea deal.

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