Operation Witches Brew Sweeps Up Meth Trade

Nearly 50 people are behind bars in Ashe County on methamphetamine charges following a joint investigation and arrests by the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation.

Operation Witches Brew targeted “smurfers,” those who buy the products to make methamphetamine, and the “cookers,” the ones who make this highly addictive stimulant drug.

“For the past two years, we have been conducting investigations and making arrests, and today’s arrests are the largest meth round-up ever in this county,” Ashe County Sheriff James Williams said. “We tried to get as many as possible to sweep with a broom at one time to get a better chance of shutting these operations down.”

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N.C. crime rate is down 24.4 in last decade

The State Bureau of Investigation’s 2013 Uniform Crime Report indicates that overall crime in North Carolina has decreased by 7 percent from the previous year, continuing a six-year downward trend.

The overall crime rate per 100,000 people in North Carolina is the state’s lowest since 1974 according to reports submitted to the State Bureau of Investigation from law enforcement agencies across the state. The violent crime rate per 100,000 North Carolinians declined by 5.4 percent in 2013. Among violent crime rates, rape decreased 10.2 percent, robbery dropped 1.9 percent and murder decreased 3.8 percent, while aggravated assault fell 6.4 percent.

The rate of property crimes—burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft—decreased by 7.2 percent statewide. The larceny rate fell 5.9 percent, the motor vehicle theft rate fell 10.9 percent, and the burglary rate fell 9.3. The rate of arson, which is not included in the overall crime rate, fell by 17.7 percent.

Juvenile arrests for index crime offenses are down 11 percent, while adult arrests for those offenses decreased 5.0 percent. Juvenile arrests for all crimes are also down 12 percent, while adult arrests for all crimes are down 8 percent.

Compared to a decade ago, the overall crime rate is down 24.4 percent and the rate of violent crime is down 26.3 percent.

Read the full report.


Governor McCrory names Interim SBI Director

Governor Pat McCrory appointed Bernard W. (B.W.) Collier II acting director of the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) on August 7, 2014.

“B.W. Collier’s distinguished law enforcement background and leadership skills make him the ideal candidate to lead this elite agency,” said Governor McCrory. “Collier’s 26 years as a SBI agent coupled with his experience at Alcohol Law Enforcement give me complete confidence in his abilities to carry out the SBI’s mission.”

Collier will be sworn into office on August 11, 2014.

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On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive Campaign Results

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol along with the Division of Law Enforcement Wildlife Resources Commission released the totals for On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive campaign for the period of Friday, May 23 through Monday, May 26.

On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive campaign is a multi-agency initiative that is designed to combine law enforcement resources to ensure that all motorists can safely travel on highway and waterways during the summer months.

The totals are reflective of each agency’s collaborative enforcement efforts:

Highway Patrol:

  • Driving While Impaired:                     172
  • Provisional License Violation:            15
  • Other Implied Consent Violation:      45
  • Drug Violations:                                    25
  • Drug Paraphernalia:                              9
  • Seatbelt Violations:                         1,398
  • Child Restraint Violations:               133
  • Equipment Violations:                      372
  • Driver License Violation:                  931
  • Registration Violation:                      912
  • Other Violations:                             3,485

Total Violations:                                       7,497

Wildlife Resources Commission:

  • Operate While Impaired:                     23
  • Boating Citations Issued:                  529
  • Boating Warnings Issued:                 841
  • Boats Checked:                                6,727

Total Violations:                                         1,393