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North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement agents arrested more than 150 people on charges of illegal alcohol and drugs during an overnight operation Dec. 1-2 following a state-wide crackdown.


During the operation, one agent performed CPR on an unresponsive overdose victim until EMS could arrive and provide Naloxone. Another agent identified a suspect in a previous armed robbery who had 17 outstanding warrants for his arrest. The suspect had a mask believed to be used during an armed robbery two days before.


The special operation used every available ALE agent in partnership with sheriffs, police chiefs, and other law enforcement partners. Their goal was to prevent violence and other criminal activity at locations that sell alcoholic beverages, both at Alcoholic Beverage Control permitted establishments and non-permitted locations, such as shot houses.


The158 arrests resulted in 297 charges including 101 alcoholic beverage-related charges, 97 drug-related charges and 28 felonies. ALE special agents will submit violation reports to the N.C. ABC Commission documenting regulatory and/or law violations they observed at the 21 ABC-permitted businesses. The violations could result in fines, suspensions or revocations of the ABC permits.


Twelve firearms were seized across the state. Various amounts and types of controlled substances were seized including marijuana, crack, MDMA (ecstasy) and heroin. Non-tax paid spirituous liquor and one vehicle were also seized. Four search warrants were executed.


“This is the first of many operations ALE is planning to deter violence at nightclubs, bars and restaurants across the state,” said Terrance Merriweather, ALE branch head. “The number of fatal shootings that have occurred at these locations is prompting ALE’s extra enforcement activity.”


The areas in which the operation was conducted included, but not limited to, Asheville, Arden, Hendersonville, Hickory, Salisbury, Charlotte, Reidsville, Burlington, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Asheboro, Liberty, Mebane, Raleigh, Benson, Zebulon, Wilson, Washington, Ahoskie, Goldsboro, Wilmington, Castle Hayne, Swansboro, Jacksonville and Fayetteville.


ALE’s 109 specially trained agents have the authority to arrest and take investigatory action for any criminal offense. Their primary responsibility is the enforcement of Alcoholic Beverage Control laws and state lottery laws. ALE is a branch of the State Bureau of Investigation.