10/22/06 — Police, sheriff get $260,937 in drug money

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Police, sheriff get $260,937 in drug money

By Lee Williams
Published in News on October 22, 2006 2:03 AM

Clutching a large white check for their share of $1.2 million seized from drug dealers, Goldsboro Police Chief Tim Bell and Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders vowed to continue their fight to eliminate drugs.

Drug Enforcement Administration Assistant Special Agent in Charge John Emerson presented checks to Bell and Winders for $260,937.63. The checks were handed out on the second floor of City Hall at 11:30 a.m. Friday.

The checks distributed represented the departments share of money seized from drug traffickers, Emerson said. The money was seized in several states including Georgia and North Carolina and was part of an investigation conducted by the DEA and the Goldsboro-Wayne County Drug Squad, Emerson added.

"Drug traffickers sell their drugs here and then the money is brought back across the country into Mexico," Emerson said. "If we don't get the drugs and they've already sold the drugs then we are trying to intercept that money coming back, so they can't use that money to buy more drugs and bring it back to the states."

Emerson said a portion of the money was seized from local drug dealers.

"The bad guys were here, but they were connected with drug traffickers who were also in Atlanta," he said. "There were seizures in Atlanta and there were seizures here. We totaled those seizures up and then there's an asset-sharing percentage based on work hours and that resulted in the check distributions."

Bell and Winders lauded the work of the drug squad who helped seize the $1.2 million. The drug squad is comprised of four officers from the city and four deputies from the county.

Bell said the money will be put to good use.

"The funds will be used to further our drug enforcement efforts," Bell said.

Winders said it took a collective effort from the Wayne County Sheriff's Office, the Goldsboro Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Service, DEA and U.S. Customs to make the outcome of the drug trafficking investigation a success.

Winders said the agencies targeted a major drug operation.

"This operation extended all the way to Mexico, Georgia, Texas and different areas," Winders said. "It was a big organization. In fact, it was one of the largest operations in eastern North Carolina and it was awarded as such."

Bell said working with the DEA gives the drug squad a larger advantage in the fight against drugs because it allows the drug squad to extend their jurisdiction outside of Wayne County.

Bell added that working with the DEA allows the drug squad to follow the flow of money and the drugs, and it allows the squad to target upper level drug dealers.

Winders said upper level dealers are one of their main targets.

"Everybody talks about the one that's very visible, the street dealer, but he's getting it from someone and that's what we want to find out," Winders said. "That's what we're targeting. Where the street dealer is getting it. Target that person. Because without the supplier, the street dealer won't be in business long."

The money awarded signified a major accomplishment for the drug squad, but Bell said their work is far from over.

"We're looking forward to putting more drug dealers in jail," he said.