‘Interception’ halts crime on Sampson roadways


By Chris Berendt - [email protected]



A recent four-day Sampson County Sheriff’s campaign targeted the county’s major corridors, trying to quite literally cut criminal activity off at the pass. The campaign was deemed “extremely effective,” with promises from the sheriff of similar campaigns in the future.

From Nov. 2-5, the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Interdiction Team conducted “Operation Interception,” a multi-agency campaign targeting criminal activity through proactive traffic enforcement on I-40, U.S. 13 and Connector Road (N.C. 117/N.C. 403). The result was 117 charges ranging from serious felony drug offenses to minor traffic infractions, and cash seizures totaling $14,500.

The campaign was launched in an effort to continue a proactive enforcement initiative against criminal activity. The corridors targeted as part of the initiative are “known thoroughfares in Sampson County for criminals to travel,” sheriff’s officials said.

Of the more than a hundred charges brought as part of the campaign, a number of them were felony drug offenses including possession of heroin, possession of methamphetamine, possession of cocaine, possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana,possession with intent to sell and deliver a Schedule II controlled substance, trafficking opiates, maintaining a vehicle for use or sale of narcotics and possession of controlled substance in a jail facility.

Also served were misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, misdemeanor possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, as well as other misdemeanor traffic offenses such as driving while license revoked, no operator’s license, expired registration, expired inspections, open container, child restraint and failing to stop for blue lights.

Still other offenses included stolen firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of firearm by felon, wanted persons and numerous orders for arrest and warrants were served. Names of those arrested were not provided.

Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton thanked the Newton Grove Fire Department, which allowed sheriff’s authorities to utilize their facilities for the operation.

“The hospitality of the Newton Grove Fire Department reinforces the great people and resources we have available in Sampson County,” the sheriff stated, while also offering his gratitude for numerous other agencies that had a hand in “Interception.”

Among those offering assistance were the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office, Granville County Sheriff’s Office, Harnett County Sheriff’s Office, Wake County Sheriff’s Office, Durham Police Department, Dunn Police Department, High Point Police Department, Archdale Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

It is that kind of teamwork that is needed to curb the criminal element, and there will be such campaigns in Sampson in the future.

“This operation was one of many to come in the future,” Thornton remarked. “I hope to send a clear message to all criminals that we are serious about criminal activity in Sampson County. Together we can certainly help remove these criminals from our communities.”

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

By Chris Berendt

[email protected]

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Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

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