ALE's Weekend Statewide Operation Nets 132 Arrests on 209 Charges 

North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement special agents arrested more than 130 people on charges including illegal alcohol and drugs during a weekend operation May 4-6 following a state-wide crackdown. 
During the operation, agents in Hope Mills intercepted a suspect with a concealed handgun and a rifle outside Aqua Lounge and Nightclub, where a person was shot a week earlier. In Beaufort County, agents and sheriff’s deputies raided two illegal bars where drugs were being sold. Agents seized multiple small bags of cocaine from the owner of Ellington Underground, a private club in Asheville. Agents and sheriff’s deputies located and seized an illegal moonshine distillery and raided two illegal bars in Franklin County.
This 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.
The 132 arrests resulted in 209 charges including 87 alcoholic beverage-related charges, 84 drug-related charges and 12 felonies. ALE special agents will submit violation reports to the N.C. ABC Commission documenting regulatory and/or law violations they observed at the 16 ABC-permitted businesses. The violations could result in fines, suspensions or revocations of the ABC permits. 
Eleven firearms were seized across the state. Various amounts and types of controlled substances were seized. Non-tax paid spirituous liquor and two vehicles were also seized. Five search warrants were executed.
“This operation is another example of ALE special agents partnering with other agencies to deter violence at nightclubs, bars and restaurants across the state,” said Terrance Merriweather, ALE branch head. “ALE is committed to focusing efforts on addressing violence and other criminal activity to make communities safer.”
The counties in which the operation was conducted included, but not limited to, the following: Cumberland, Buncombe, Cherokee, Beaufort, Wilson, Nash, Edgecombe, Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Onslow, Carteret, New Hanover, Columbus, Forsyth, Wake, Franklin, and Catawba. 
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.

Contact:  Bryan House
Phone:  (919) 662-4500