Laurinburg Exchange | Law enforcement rounds up drugs, guns

LAURINBURG — Law enforcement officers turned the heat up on alleged criminals in Scotland County, making 20 arrests over a two-day period.

Authorities talked about Operation Heatwave during a press briefing Friday morning. The joint operation took place across Scotland County between Wednesday and Thursday with officials rounding up wanted fugitives, probation or parole violators and drug offenders. The raids also focused on confiscating illegal weapons.

Operation Heatwave saw 21 warrants served and 20 arrests. Thirty-five searches were conducted which led to the seizure of five firearms and ammunition − including one AR15 assault rifle and a .40 caliber semi-automatic with hollow-point bullets.

Five confirmed gang members were arrested along with 13 people who were either fugitives or in violation of probation, officials said.

Among the drugs seized by the Laurinburg Police Department were cocaine, 80 grams of marijuana in various forms, and over an ounce of Spice – or synthetic marijuana. Drug paraphernalia included crack pipes, marijuana wrappers and digital scales, according to officers.

Police Chief Darwin “Duke” Williams said he can’t honestly say for certain whether this will have a great impact the number of shootings and drug activity.

“We’re doing what we can do; were tapping into the federal and state level to help us with prosecuting and charging and looking to take charges to the federal level where the penalty is much stiffer,” Williams said.

Williams said that tougher gun laws at the state level would aid police in getting guns and criminals off the street.

“Compare our gun laws to New York where Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg and got two years,” Williams said. “We’re doing everything we can to keep guns off the streets, but it also takes the community working with us and alongside us to keep us informed of those who are out here committing these crimes.”

Chief Detective Ruben Castellon of the Scotland County…

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