As issues related to opiods continue to make headlines, lawmakers across the country are taking a second look at the way in which drug crimes are handled. In North Carolina, a legislative task force on Sentencing Reforms for Opioid Drug Convictions has advised that there may be upcoming changes to mandatory minimum sentencing in drug crimes. If implemented, these changes could give judges more discretion in the length of sentences for crimes such as heroin possession.
When people think of a drug investigation, children's day care is not usually the first location that comes to mind. However, a day care recently ended up at the center of a North Carolina drug bust. According to reports, authorities seized over 100 pounds of marijuana and arrested two people for drug crimes at a Fayetteville child care center. The city also saw a second drug-related arrest the next day.
A former officer at a North Carolina detention center is accused of smuggling drugs into the facility where he once worked. Among the drug charges he faces is at least one count of conspiring to deliver marijuana. He was fired as soon as the allegations came to light.
The rise in prescription drug abuse has caused lawmakers across the United States to take action. In North Carolina, state legislators recently passed a bill that would give law enforcement personnel access to prescription drug records without a warrant. If approved by the governor, the bill could mean an increase in charges related drug crimes, fraud and prescription drug abuse.
Across the country, various states are taking steps to change the laws around marijuana for medicinal and even recreational use. The latest state to consider new laws around the drug is North Carolina, where the legislature is considering a pair of bills aimed at decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. If passed, the bill could mean fewer drug charges related to the substance in the state.
Law enforcement often identify and patrol certain areas where they believe crimes are more likely to be committed. For North Carolina police, Interstate 85 has been dubbed the "meth highway" by police who say the road is frequented by drug traffickers. Recently, two people were arrested on drug charges that they were trafficking the drug along this route.
Authorities and lawmakers often try new initiatives to combat crime in their jurisdiction. In Eastern North Carolina, federal authorities are joining forces with state and local law enforcement in an effort to combat violent and drug crime in the area. Under the new initiative, called the Take Back North Carolina Initiative, federal prosecutors will be focused on filing drug charges across the eastern part of the state.
While individual drug charges occur across the country, larger-scale busts of organized operations are often most targeted by police. These busts often result in multiple drug charges that may be accompanied by accusations of violent crimes or illegal firearm possession. A recent North Carolina bust resulted in multiple people charged with crimes related to marijuana possession and distribution. A few of those arrested were also charged with possession of drugs, including cocaine, crack cocaine and heroine. Firearm charges and parole violations were also reported in this case.
Eight people are in custody on narcotics charges stemming from a three-month police investigation. The group is facing 127 drug charges in all, according to the Chatham County Sheriff's Office. The North Carolina residents were allegedly involved in sharing prescriptions for opioids with about 600 pills being passed around every month. Among the drugs seized were Xanax and about 8 grams of marijuana.
An extensive drug sweep in Brunswick County has resulted in dozens of arrests recently. Those arrested stand accused of a number of North Carolina drug charges, and many are repeat offenders. Whether this is their first drug-related charge or they have previous convictions, all of those accused are likely considering their options for an effective criminal defense.