Alamance County announces "Operation Firecracker" narcotics bust

The Alamance County Sheriff's Office announced on Wednesday afternoon the arrests of 18 local individuals as part of Phase III of the county's recent drug enforcement operations. This latest phase, titled "Operation Firecracker," resulted in the seizure of over 400 grams of methamphetamine and more than 7,300 grams of marijuana, among many other drugs and controlled substances taken into possession. Sheriff Terry Johnson indicated that his agency will continue to hold subsequent phases to continue pushing drugs off the streets of Alamance County. 

Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson announced on Wednesday afternoon nearly twenty additional arrests in the third phase of the county’s drug curtailment efforts over the past year. In December, the Sheriff’s Office conducted its “12 Days of Christmas” Phase I operation, followed in the spring by Phase II, Operation Spring Cleaning.

Phase II, titled “Operation Firecracker,” brought the entire operation up to nearly 60 arrests in total, with over 200 drug charges in all. 

“It gives me great pleasure to announce to the citizens of our county the completion of Phase III - Operation Firecracker. The operation was once again aimed at local drug dealers that continue to defy our criminal laws pertaining to controlled substances,” Sheriff Johnson said Wednesday afternoon in a press conference at the Alamance County Jail in downtown Graham. “I’m announcing the arrests of 18 more individuals on 72 more drug charges. This brings the total of individuals arrested during Phases I, II, and III to 59 persons, on 220 drug charges.” 

“Our agency is committed to continue to fight the drug problem in this county. We are seeing too many deaths from overdoses. We’re seeing too many other crimes coming from the drug problem here in Alamance County,” Sheriff Johnson added. “We’re committed to continue that fight against these individuals that are affecting the quality of life here in Alamance County. We cannot afford to lose any more of our children here. They are our most precious gift. Families are being constantly destroyed here because of the drug problem. We will not stop our efforts here until our streets are clean here in the county.”

The total amount of drugs seized includes 402.87 grams of methamphetamine, 41.16 grams of heroin, 7,301.45 grams of marijuana, 30.52 grams of cocaine, 43 usage doses of oxycodone, 115 dosage units of amphetamine, 124 dosage units of diazepam, 60.5 dosage units of xanax, 61.5 dosage units of alprazolam, 52 THC oil cartridges, 12 dosage units of suboxone, 797 dosage units of MDMA, 24.3 grams of psilocybin, 136 dosage units of oxycontin, 70 dosage units of Schedule IV controlled substances, and 7 dosage units of hydrocodone. 

All but one of the 18 suspects arrested in Operation Firecracker have already bonded out, with one individual still incarcerated under a $40,000 bond. The Sheriff is hopeful that District Attorney Sean Boone will be able to mount cases that will result in long prison sentences for some of these repeat and habitual drug offenders. 

“To you, this may not seem a large amount of drugs seized. But when you look at heroin overdoses, and other overdoses in this county, it is stressing our ability to deal with other crime in this county. It is time for this to come to an end,” Johnson said. “The message I want to convey to the public and the drug dealers today here in Alamance County is we are not going to stop hunting you down. And we are not going to lay down and let our citizens and our children be your victims. Enough is enough.”

“It’s a shame this has to go on the way it’s going on. I’ll give you and example. Last week I went down to Carteret County to take my family on vacation. I don’t even get checked in, and my phone rings. The Sheriff in Carteret County was calling me. One of their county employees’ sons was found in a hotel here in Burlington, dead of an overdose.” 

“Alamance County is a good county,” Sheriff Johnson continued. “It is a quiet county, to a certain extent. But we’ve got people coming in to Alamance County to get hotel rooms to use drugs. Why? Because they’re so doggone plentiful here. And it is time for that to stop. I guess one of the biggest fallacies I see right now is a lot of people say this (drug abuse) is a disease. They should be forgiven. Well, that’s right. But let me tell you something - when you sell drugs to other people, knowing it could cause their death, as far as I’m concerned, you ought to stay in prison for a while. I know you all think I’m pretty firm. But that’s the way I feel.” 

One of the suspects initially targeted and arrested in the Phase I 12 Days of Christmas initiative was also busted in Phase III. Clifton Keith Wade was arrested in April and charged with a variety of offenses including possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while license revoked, and possession of an open container of alcohol in a vehicle. 

“One of them (Wade) was already arrested in Phase I. And he’s arrested again in Phase III. This is what is upsetting to me as Sheriff. He hasn’t thought about quitting. And will not quit probably until the day they put him in the ground. And that’s a shame. They don’t care. They don’t care about human life, human beings, or anything else. And we have got to stop the drug problem here in this county somehow,” Johnson said. “We are not going to stop until we rid the streets and make them as safe as we possibly can. This agency is going to continue to pursue every lead. I hope citizens will be calling us with any information. Because when we get information, we go to work on it immediately. And I will say this - we have not received any information that we didn’t work on, that I know of, that we didn’t make arrests within four or five days. 

Johnson explained that Alamance County currently has a Special Operations Unit, Vice Unit, and Gang Unit working together to curb the county’s drug problems, while the Alamance Narcotics Enforcement Team (ANET), made up of all the local agencies here in the county, concentrates on the flow of drugs coming across the southern borders into the county. 

“We’re going to eat with these individuals. We’re going to sleep with these individuals. And we’re going to catch these individuals,” Johnson said. “We’re probably not getting one percent of the drugs coming into this county. These individuals are the ones, the wholesale dealers taking the drugs from these people bringing it in, and distributing it on our streets and in our communities. They are the ones affecting the quality of life here in Alamance County for our families and our children.”

Johnson and his officials implored the public to remain vigilant when it comes to drugs on Alamance County streets, and to call the authorities with any tips or information that could lead to additional arrests and charges. The Sheriff acknowledged that information from Phase I and Phase II provided critical details that led to some of the arrests in Phase III.  

“Absolutely (information from Phase I and Phase II helped in Phase III),” Johnson said. “I guarantee you I’ll get two anonymous letters every week about drug problems. And when I get them, we get the people. And that’s what it’s all about. We went after people we had information on. We made those arrests. A lot of times, these people (in the initial phases) will talk to you, and you’re able to continue on up the ladder - or at least in the area here. That’s what we’re trying to do. Now it’s up to the court system to help us with our problem.”

“If you see something, say something,” added Alamance County Public Information Officer Byron Tucker. “It may not be anything, but give us a chance to investigate it. We want to get out there and put a stop to this. So call us. Whatever it is, give us a call.”

 

SUSPECTS AND CHARGES IN ALAMANCE COUNTY’S “OPERATION FIRECRACKER”

 

Timothy Justin McLaurin; Arrested March 15, 2019

W/M  DOB: 12/07/1985

1 ct. F- PWISD Methamphetamine

1 ct. F- PWISD Schedule IV

1 ct. F- Possess Cocaine

1 ct. M-Simple Possess Schedule II

1 ct. M-Possess Marijuana

1 ct. M-Contributing Delinquency of Juvenile

1 ct. M-Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

1 ct. M-Simple Possession of Schedule IV CS

 

Thomas Wayne Wilson; Arrested March 18, 2019

W/M  DOB: 12/26/1983

1 ct. F- PWISD Methamphetamine

1 ct. M- Possess Schedule IV

1 ct. M-Possess Drug Paraphernalia

 

Oscar Nadab Henriquez-Batres; Arrested March 21, 2019

U/M   DOD: 11/06/1997

1 ct. F-PWISD Marijuana

1 ct. F-PWISD Schedule VI Controlled Substance

1 ct. M-Possess Drug Paraphernalia

 

Jerry Lynn Coleman; Arrested March 25, 2019

W/M   DOB: 11/10/1981

1 ct. F-PWISD Schedule IV CS

1 ct. M-Possess Marijuana

1 ct. M-Possess Drug Paraphernalia 

 

Kravin Ray Swink; Arrested April 1, 2019

W/M  DOB: 12/15/1992

1 ct. F- PWISD Psilocybin

1 ct. F-PWSID Heroin

1 ct. F-PWISD MDMA

1 ct. F-PWISD Schedule IV CS

1 ct. M-Possess Marijuana

2 ct. M-Possess Drug Paraphernalia

1 ct. M-Carry Concealed Weapon

 

Christopher Dale Maness; Arrested April 12, 2019

W/M  DOB: 03/30/1974

1 ct. F-Trafficking Methamphetamine

1 ct. F-PWISD Methamphetamine

1 ct. F-Maintaining a Dwelling for CS

1 ct. F-Possess Firearm by Felon

1 ct. M-Misdemeanor Possess Marijuana

2 ct. M-Possess Drug Paraphernalia

 

Clifton Keith Wade: Arrested April 12, 2019Arrested in Phase I

W/M  DOB: 12/21/1968

1 ct. F-Possess Methamphetamine

1 ct. M-Possess Drug Paraphernalia

1 ct. T-Possess Open Container

1 ct. T-Driving While License Revoked

 

Tosha Blackwell; Arrested April 12, 2019

W/F  DOB: 06/12/1980

1 ct. F-Possess Methamphetamine

1 ct. M-Possess Schedule IV CS

1 ct. M-Possess Drug Paraphernalia

 

Jessica Lauren Anthony; Arrested April 15, 2019

W/F  DOB: 07/15/1991

1 ct. F-Possess Methamphetamine

2 ct. M-Simple Possess Sch. II

1 ct. M-Simple Possess Sch. III

1 ct. M-Possess Drug Paraphernalia

1 ct. T-Driving While License Revoked 

 

Roman Macedo; Arrested April 30, 2019

W/M  DOB: 11/04/1992

1 ct. F-PWISD Methamphetamine

1 ct. M-Possess Drug Paraphernalia

 

Lindsey Ludwig; Arrested April 30, 2019

W/F  DOB: 08/28/1983

1 ct. F-PWISD Methamphetamine

1 ct. M-Possess Drug Paraphernalia

 

Kevin Wayne Terry; Arrested April 30, 2019

W/M  DOB: 05/26/1974

1 ct. F-PWISD Methamphetamine

2 ct. M-Possess Drug Paraphernalia

1 ct. M-Possess Marijuana up to ½ oz.

 

Ronald Lee Terry; Arrested May 6, 2019

W/M  DOB: 02/16/1956

1 ct. F-PWISD Schedule II CS

1 ct. F-PWISD Schedule III CS

1 ct. F-PWISD Schedule IV CS

1 ct. M-Possess Drug Paraphernalia

 

Brandon Markee Lea; Arrested May 17, 2019

B/M  DOB: 07/22/1989

1 ct. F-PWISD Marijuana

1 ct. M-Possess Drug Paraphernalia

1 ct. M-Carrying Concealed Weapon

1 ct. F-Maintain Dwelling/Vehicle/Place CS

 

Jessica Cassidy; Arrested May 21, 2019

W/F  DOB: 04/22/1993

1 ct. F-PWISD Methamphetamine

1 ct. M-Possess Drug Paraphernalia

 

Joseph Gulley; Arrested May 21, 2019Jail$40,000 Bond

W/M  DOB: 0518/1977

1 ct. F-PWISD Methamphetamine

1 ct. M-Possess Drug Paraphernalia

 

Kelly Monique Villegas; Arrested May 22, 2019

W/F  DOB: 10/10/1999

3 cts. F-Sell/Deliver Schedule II CS

1 ct. F-PWISD Schedule II CS

1 ct. F-Possess Cocaine

1 ct. M-Possess Marijuana 

1 ct. M-Possess Drug Paraphernalia

 

Briahna Haskell; Arrested May 28, 2019

W/F  DOB: 12/27/1995

1 ct. F-PWISD Marijuana

1 ct. M-Possess Drug Paraphernalia

1 ct. F-Maintain Dwelling/Vehicle/Place CS

 

Total Arrested in Phase III:18

Total Charges in Phase III: 72

 

 

Total Drugs Seized

 

97.67 grams of Methamphetamine

1.05 grams of Heroin

4,882.05 grams of Marijuana 

.38 grams of Cocaine

7 Dosage Units of Oxycodone

61 Dosage Units Amphetamine

124 Dosage Units Diazepam

52.5 Dosage Units of Xanax

61.5 Dosage Units of Alprazolam

52 THC Oil Cartridges 

10 Dosage Units SubOxone 

15 Dosage Units of MDMA

24.30 grams of Psilocybin

Total Drugs Seized    Phase I

 

136 Dosage Units of OxyContin

70 Dosage Units of Schedule IV Controlled Substance

54 Dosage Units of Amphetamines

20.46 grams of Cocaine/Crack Cocaine

3.8 grams of Marijuana

27.55 grams of Methamphetamine

12.86 grams of Heroin

 

Total Drugs Seized    Phase II

 

277.65 grams of Methamphetamine

27.25 grams of Heroin

2415.6 grams of Marijuana 

9.68 grams of Cocaine

782 Dosage Units of MDMA

36 Dosage Units of Oxycodone

7 Dosage Units of Hydrocodone

8 Dosage Units of Xanax

2 Dosage Units of Suboxone 

 

Total Drugs Seized    Phase III

 

97.67 grams of Methamphetamine

1.05 grams of Heroin

4,882.05 grams of Marijuana 

.38 grams of Cocaine

7 Dosage Units of Oxycodone

61 Dosage Units Amphetamine

124 Dosage Units Diazepam

52.5 Dosage Units of Xanax

61.5 Dosage Units of Alprazolam

52 THC Oil Cartridges 

10 Dosage Units Suboxone 

15 Dosage Units of MDMA

24.30 grams of Psilocybin

 

Year to Date Total Drug Seizures

 

402.87 Grams of Methamphetamine

41.16 Grams of Heroin

7,301.45 Grams of Marijuana

30.52 Grams of Cocaine

43 Dosage Units of Oxycodone

115 Dosage Units of Amphetamine

124 Dosage Units of Diazepam

60.5 Dosage Units of Xanax

61.5 Dosage Units of Alprazolam

52 THC Oil Cartridges

12 Dosage Units of Suboxone

797 Dosage units of MDMA

24.3 Grams of Psilocybin

136 Dosage Units of OxyContin

70 Dosage Units of Schedule IV CS

7 Dosage Units of Hydrocodone