Sampson’s Criminal Interdiction Team continues to prove its value to citizens in this county and beyond as evidenced this week by a traffic stop on I-40 that culminated in the arrest of four individuals charged with well over 100 felonies.
Those arrests took four suspected criminals off the street and halted a purported operation that would have victimized residents or businesses across the state willing to cash fraudulently manufactured checks that were found in the possession of the three women and a man pulled over Wednesday afternoon by one of our own deputies.
Because of that stop, 34 fictitious checks were seized, 140 felony charges were leveled and four individuals were jailed. It also led to other arrests in Wake County where a printing operation was discovered.
And it all came from a sheriff’s CID deputy stopping a vehicle for a traffic violation.
To add an exclamation point to that very successful stop would be the over $200,000 the Sheriff’s Department received just over a week ago for their part in a federal operation on I-40 that led to the seizure of millions of dollars in cash — believed to be drug money — and two other significant arrests.
Combine those two major events with the multiple traffic stops that have hauled in weapons, cash, drugs and dozens of arrests just in the last year alone and it should silence any criticism about the team’s value as part of the Sampson County Sheriff’s Department.
We’ve been among those critics in year’s past, questioning early on the need for deputies to do what amounts to traffic work, much of which rests on the shoulders of Highway Patrol troopers throughout the county and Clinton Police within the city limits.
But the proof is in the results, and the Criminal Interdiction team has shown impressive results, the kind that is making a difference in Sampson County and beyond.
Sampson is a large county, arguably the largest, area-wise, in North Carolina. Between the stretch of I-40 that runs through Sampson and the dozens of country roads that wind through our county, having a Criminal Interdiction Team has proven a valuable asset in getting drugs off the streets, tamping down criminal activity in our midst and putting suspected criminals behind bars.
In our estimation, funding the team has been money well spent.
We tip our hat to those who are part of the team for a job well done. Sampson residents should sleep a little easier knowing that there are individuals out there doing their very best to protect us from criminal elements.