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123 Arrested, 237 Charges in Statewide ALE Operation

RALEIGH, NC (March 3, 2019) — Friday and Saturday night, ALE special agents arrested more than 123 people for alcohol, drug, firearm, and gambling charges during a state-wide crackdown in partnership with local, state and federal agencies. Each of the eight districts targeted violence and illegal activity anywhere alcohol was sold – whether legally or illegally.

“ALE’s primary mission is to protect public safety, so we apply considerable resources to regularly train the owners and staff of ABC permitted establishments to help them understand and obey North Carolina law,” said Bryan House, acting Head of North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement. “But when those laws are purposefully violated, the health and safety of our communities is at risk. To address these violators, we won’t hesitate to use all available manpower as we did this past weekend.”

Across the state, eight search warrants were executed; 14 firearms were seized including rifles, handguns, and sawed-off shotguns. Various types-controlled substances were seized, along with two illegal distilleries and over $13,000 in cash. Of the 237 charges, 93 were alcoholic beverage-related charges, 77 drug-related charges, and six gambling charges.

ALE special agents assisted Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in the arrest of Club Nikki owner Cory Headen, and three employees in connection with a shooting and homicide at the club last month. In Person County, two people were arrested for the sale and manufacture of moonshine; one of the arrestees was a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. An ABC-licensed club with a history of violence and criminal activity, The Freedom Lounge, had its permits successfully revoked by special agents in Charlotte. In Greensboro, special agents raided the Hot Spot Mart, a convenience store operating as an illegal casino. Video gaming machines, liquor, and over $10,000 in cash were among the items seized.

ALE special agents will submit violation reports to the ABC commission for criminal and regulatory violations at 26 ABC-permitted businesses. The violations could result in fines, suspensions, or revocation of ABC permits. The counties where the operation was held included, but were not limited to, the following: Alamance, Guilford, Wilson, Nash, Franklin, Person, Wake, Pender, New Hanover, Craven, Iredell, Buncombe, Mecklenburg, and Cumberland.

About ALE:
ALE’s 109 specially trained agents have the authority to arrest and take investigatory action for any criminal offense. Their primary responsibility is the enforcement of Alcoholic Beverage Control laws and state lottery laws. ALE is a branch of the State Bureau of Investigation.