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Originally published: 2012-12-10 15:09:22
Last modified: 2012-12-10 15:09:22

Our View: Teamwork pummels local drug trade

The wind-up for the one-two punch thrown early Friday by multiple law enforcement agencies was five years in the making, but when it was over, police say that one of the largest local distributors of crystal methamphetamine was behind bars, and a pound of the drug worth almost $60,000 was off the streets.

Merry Christmas, Watauga County.

The search warrant executed at a Howard's Creek Road, Boone, residence overnight Thursday was anything but routine. That warrant was years in construction, and came about only through the cooperation of multiple law enforcement agencies. 

Indeed, as both Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman and Boone Police Chief Dana Crawford said, it was only through intra-agency cooperation of the Boone Police Department, the sheriff's department, State Bureau of Investigation, N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that narcotics officers were able to successfully infiltrate what they say was a well-organized and entrenched drug distribution organization.

But with these arrests come two jolting realizations.

The first is that, while we must remember that anyone arrested is innocent until proven guilty, it's sobering that a full pound or more of meth was seized from a residence in Boone.

The second is the answer to the question: Will the arrests of two alleged drug dealers -- even one who police say was responsible for a large amount of local drug distribution -- stop the sale of illegal drugs in Watauga County? The honest answer to that is, no.

But with these arrests, and the likelihood of more to come, the operations of Watauga County drug dealers are seriously curtailed. Of that there is much more certainty.

And also certain is this: None of this would have come to pass without multiple law enforcement agencies putting differences aside and banding to break up the bad guys.