29 Feb

An early morning raid by federal, state and local law enforcement officials in Charlotte, North Carolina netted 20 criminal suspects. Four months of investigative work led up to the joint effort – titled “The Initiative” – and arrests were for such crimes as drug trafficking, robbery, prostitution, and gun charges.

The multi-jurisdiction, multi-agency operation by members of the local police, North Carolina state agencies, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the U.S. Marshals Service was part of an effort to reduce violent crime in local communities.

All 20 people charged in the sting are from Charlotte and most were charged with federal as well as state crimes. Eighteen firearms were confiscated during the raid and seven of the suspects charged with federal gun crimes. One suspect was a former member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police department.

Local police had noticed an increased level of violence in the community in the weeks prior to the raid and nearby community leaders considered the arrests a victory in their fight to keep their neighborhoods safe.

As law enforcement agents converged on hotels and motels along Interstate 85 in the wee hours of the morning, one suspect sought as a part of the investigation was not caught in the net. Officials believe he may be at large in the Rocky Mount area.

Source: WBTV.com, “Drug trafficking, prostitution charges after raids at hotels along I-85,” Chris Dyches, 2/27/12