From May 4 to 6, North Carolina authorities raided a number of bars, restaurants and clubs across the state in an effort to deter violence. The operation led to the arrest of more than 130 people, many of them on drug charges.

According to media reports, two Asheville establishments were among those targeted by North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement agents during the sting. Ellington Underground was cited for multiple violations, including failing to clear tables and counters of alcoholic drinks after 2:30 a.m. The private club’s 26-year-old owner was also arrested after agents allegedly found several bags of cocaine on the property. He was charged with felony possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia. The Polanco restaurant was cited for failing to purchase alcoholic drinks from a wholesaler.

Overall, over 130 people were charged across the state. They are facing a total of 209 charges, including 84 drug charges and 87 alcohol-related charges. Twelve of the charges are felonies. During the raids, agents reportedly seized various types and amounts of controlled substances. They also confiscated 11 firearms. The purpose of the sting was to deter criminal activities and violent behavior at establishments that serve alcohol. The raids took place in at least 18 North Carolina counties, including Buncombe, Cumberland and Beaufort.

Individuals facing drug charges may benefit by politely declining to answer police questions and requesting the presence of an attorney. A criminal defense attorney may be able to carefully review the evidence and work to undermine the prosecution’s case in an effort to get the charges dismissed. An attorney might also negotiate for a reduction of charges for a more lenient sentence.

Source: Citizen Times, “Drugs seized at Asheville club; owner charged with cocaine possession in state crackdown,” Jennifer Bowman, May 7, 2018