Following a yearlong undercover operation in Johnston County involving multiple law enforcement agencies, 60 law enforcement officers gathered early Tuesday morning to begin rounding up over 100 suspects in Operation JoCo Justice.
The enforcement campaign targeted alleged drug dealers in Selma, Smithfield and Four Oaks. The charges include street level sales of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, marijuana and prescription pills.
Assisting in Tuesday’s roundup are Selma Police, Smithfield Police, Four Oaks Police, Clayton Police, the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, NC Probation & Parole, NC SBI, and the US Marshal’s Service.
Selma Police Chief R.A. Cooper said 41 suspects are facing charges from his department. Of the 41 suspects, 22 live in the Selma city limits and the other 19 reportedly travel to Selma to sale drugs. Six of the suspects in Selma are already on probation for similar charges.
One of the first arrests Tuesday morning was Ronda Bates who was apprehended at the Redwood Village Apartment complex. Bates is accused of selling prescription pills to an informant.
Agents then arrested Decorris Wiggins and Richard Morgan at the Sanridge Apartments on River Road. Both men are charged with selling cocaine and marijuana in the Selma city limits. Police also found Khaleel Streat in another apartment in the same complex. Streat is accused of selling cocaine to an informant.
Javier Santiago was sitting on the front porch of a home on S. Webb Street around 8:30am when officers arrived. Santiago peacefully surrendered.
Smithfield Police Chief Keith Powell said approximately 40 people are being sought on warrants for selling illegal narcotics in the Smithfield city limits during the campaign.
Four Oaks Police Chief Stephen Anderson said the operation should send a clear message to drug dealers. “There is no room in our town for drugs. We are trying to make it a better town for our citizens. We are not going to tolerate it. Clean up or this is how its got to be.”