Last Updated on April 24, 2022 6:17 pm
The Boone Police Department was one of several agencies involved in a statewide ALE operation on Friday night.
ALE special agents charged 259 people for alcohol, drug, firearm, driving and gambling offenses during a statewide partnership with local, state, and federal agencies, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS). Each district targeted violence and illegal activity anywhere alcohol was sold, whether legally or illegally.
Throughout the state, authorities executed nine search warrants and seized various types of controlled substances, including fentanyl, crack cocaine and methamphetamines, in addition to 77 fraudulent identifications and an illegal distillery, according to NCDPS. Six firearms were seized, one of which was an AR-15 rifle illegally possessed by a convicted felon. Of the 597 charges, 59 were felony charges, 271 were alcoholic beverage-related charges and 98 were drug-related charges. Four impaired drivers were taken off the road.
Alcohol use is a factor in many crimes, including violence and dangerous driving,” said Bryan House, Director of North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement. “We partner with and educate businesses on responsible alcohol sales to mitigate the negative impacts on our communities.”
In the weeks leading up to this proactive operation, as a part of Alcohol Awareness Month, ALE special agents conducted numerous educational programs to ABC-licensed businesses and employees across the state, according to NCDPS.
The trainings covered common ABC laws, rules, and regulations, responsible alcoholic beverage sales, recognizing fake or fraudulent identifications, and best practices for deterring criminal activity and making their businesses safe for both patrons and employees.
Following an ALE investigation in Havelock, the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission rejected ABC permits for a local bar and lounge due to physical assaults by employees, intoxicated patrons leaving the business, and large fights in the parking lot.
In addition to the rejection, 14 ABC-permitted businesses were found to be in violation of state laws and regulations. ALE special agents will submit violation reports to the ABC Commission documenting the criminal and regulatory violations at these businesses, which could result in fines, suspensions, or revocations of ABC permits.
Agencies involved in the operation included Greensboro Police Department, Mecklenburg County ABC Board Law Enforcement, Boone Police Department, Lenoir Police Department, Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office, Biscoe Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, NC DMV License and Theft, and United States Homeland Security Investigations.
Cities involved in the operation included Wilmington, Greenville, Durham, Greensboro, High Point, Charlotte, Boone, Conover, Wilkesboro, Lenoir, Fayetteville, Lumberton, Pembroke, Laurinburg, Lenoir, Biscoe, Yanceyville, Sylva, Cullowhee, and Dillsboro.
For more information on ALE’s training programs visit NC DPS: ALE: Enforcement with Education.