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Federal drug bust nets 18 arrests in Nash County
Close to 50 Nash and Wilson County residents have been arrested over a three-year period for drug trafficking.

United States Attorney George E.B. Holding paid a visit to the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday morning to announce the conclusion of Operation Cold Wind, a joint investigation between the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, Wilson Police Department, Nash County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations.

Holding said the news media tends to focus on global drug trafficking.

“But what’s more important are what local law enforcement efforts are in the overall global trafficking,” Holding said. “Because if we didn’t start here on a local level chasing the drug dealers we’d never get to the global traffickers. So it all starts here and this is what’s most important.”

In July 2006, agents arrested Bernard Lucas, of Wilson, on a federal indictment for conspiring to distribute and possess 50 grams or more of crack. Holding said in a press conference that Lucas cooperated with agents in the investigation and based on information provided, agents were able to gather new leads regarding the distribution of narcotics in Nash and Wilson Counties.

During the investigation, it was determined that multiple kilograms of crack and cocaine were being imported into Nash and Wilson Counties on a weekly basis. The crack and cocaine were then distributed by mid-level narcotic traffickers. During the investigation, agents found that the Cold Wind investigation was linked to other ongoing federal investigations that have international ties that go across the Mexico border.

In early 2007, the United States Attorney’s Office approved Operation Cold Wind.

Since the start of the operation, around 50 people have been sentenced to federal prison. Of those, 18 were from Nash County.

In addition, agents have seiezed $853,538 worth of illegal narcotics and $462,683 in US currency. Thirty-five firearms and three vehicles were also taken during the operation.

“We’re working together and we’re chasing the drug dealers all the way from these two counties to Mexico,” Holding said.

“I want to thank each of the agencies involved for the crucial role they played in a very important effort to stop trafficig of drugs on a local and international level,” Holding added. “It’s sending a clear message to drug dealers here and drug dealers abroad that if you are going to try and ply your trade here, we will go after you with everything we have.”

Wilson County Sheriff Wayne Gay said the results of the operation would not have been possible without everyone’s cooperation.
“We have worked extremely hard to get drugs off the street,” Gay said. “Wilson and Nash Counties are proud to be a part of this. I think we have made a tremendous effort in reducing the flow of drugs  in Wilson county and Nash County and I am very proud of all the officers that participated in this.”

Nash County Sheriff Dick Jenkins echoed Gay’s sentiments.

“Operation Cold Wind is an operation of necessity, especially for Nash and Wilson  County,” Jenkins said “Drug dealers are not confined to just oe county or one town or any city limit.”

“I know this has made Nash County and Wilson County a safer place by taking these individuals off the road and out of the county,” Jenkins added.

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