Two weeks ago, drug dealers were selling meth and other illegal drugs within a half-block of one of our elementary schools, police said.
Not anymore they aren’t.
About four months ago, a man was cooking methamphetamine in an old house on Short Street in a Rockingham neighborhood, and selling it, police said.
Not anymore he isn’t.
The combined work and effort of law enforcement agencies in Richmond County have led to the arrests of these alleged drug manufacturers and dealers, and shut down their operations.
The officers of those area departments deserve high praise for a job well done, and the spirit of cooperation that led to these successes needs to be recognized, encouraged and supported.
Thank you, officers, for all that you do.
Teamwork can be a powerful thing, and we’ve seen it in these recent drug busts.
Four months ago, Rockingham police got a tip that a meth lab was in operation in a home on Short Street.
“Our officers received a tip, they followed up on it, and went over there and discovered the lab,” said Rockingham Police Chief Billy Kelly.
On Oct. 11, 2012, the Rockingham Police Department Vice/Narcotics Team and Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force investigated reports of a methamphetamine lab located at the residence on Short Street. The lab was reportedly being operated by a 37-year-old Rockingham man, who was located at the scene, lawmen said.
“They called the Rockingham Fire Department and (North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation) to assist in the decontamination of the suspect, and collected all the items at the scene that were deemed to be hazardous,” Chief Kelly said.
During the investigation and clean up, it was determined by the SBI that it was an active lab, Kelly said. A quantity of methamphetamine and the lab paraphernalia were then seized by the SBI.
The man was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession/distribution of a methamphetamine precursor, maintaining a vehicle/dwelling/place of a controlled substance, two counts of selling methamphetamine, one count of resisting a public officer and one count of assault on a government official.
Two weeks ago, officers with the Rockingham Police Department and Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Vice/Narcotics Divisions teamed up again — this time with the additional aid of the Hamlet Police Department — and shut down an alleged drug house on Monroe Avenue that is about 200 feet from Monroe Avenue Elementary School.
Officers with the three departments worked together and arrested two Hamlet men, one 25 and the other 29, on a series of felony drug charges, after executing a search warrant on that residence.
“It shows the effort and how the Rockingham Police, the Sheriff’s Office and Hamlet Police can pull resources together to close cases such as this,” said Chief Kelly. “There’s no one seeking credit, only results.” That is not always the case in other areas of the state and country — we are fortunate.
“I’m just glad they were able to make the arrests to remove the threats from the school and the community,” said Kelly.
To the officers involved in these cases, we commend your tenacity. Keep up the good team-work.