From the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office: Operation Crack of Dawn [emphasis mine]:
The Caroline County Sheriff’s Office concluded the largest undercover drug operation in the history of the department with a series of arrests that took place last night.
Operation Crack of Dawn began in February of 2005 when Caroline Narcotics Investigators initiated an investigation into a large scale organized drug ring being operated out of the Dawn area of Caroline County. As the investigation progressed and identified drug suppliers outside of Caroline County the Caroline Sheriff’s Office joined forces with the Virginia State Police, the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration to complete the investigation.
Investigators from the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia State Police set out yesterday evening to conclude this operation by arresting six remaining suspects on Caroline County Circuit Court indictments for drug distribution related charges. As a result they arrested Kevin Smith of Spotsylvania, Terry Goodall of Ashland, Shawn Braxton of Richmond and De’Lonte Morris, Travis Tillman of Caroline County. While attempting to arrest one of these suspects Investigators went to a known drug distribution area of the county and a foot chase with three individuals followed. Investigators caught all three of the suspects that ran and seized drugs from all three of them resulting in additional charges. From this one foot chase Investigators seized $3,000.00 worth of suspected crack cocaine, $500.00 worth of suspected marijuana and $1,000.00 in cash.
This operation began in February of 2005 when Caroline Narcotics Investigators initiated an investigation into a large scale organized drug ring being operated out of the Dawn area of Caroline County. As the investigation progressed and identified drug suppliers outside of Caroline County the Caroline Sheriff’s Office joined forces with the Virginia State Police, the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration to complete the investigation. During this operation Investigators seized more than six kilograms of cocaine with a street value of over a half of a million dollars which was transported or intended to be transported to Caroline County. Investigators also seized more than 20 vehicles which were purchased with illegally obtained monies including boats, motorcycles, SUV’s, and luxury vehicles along with $50,000.00 in cash.
Over the course of this operation Investigators indicted a total of 62 suspects, 47 of which were residents of Caroline County and 15 suspects from other areas such as the City of Richmond, Hampton, VA, King William, VA, Mecklenburg, VA, Hanover, VA, Woodbridge, VA, New York City and Atlanta GA. This operation also led to the arrest of a wanted fugitive from Caroline County that has been wanted for drug distribution related charges since 1999. Caroline Narcotics Investigators estimate that by breaking this ring of sixty two suspected cocaine dealers they have prevented the shipment of three million dollars worth of cocaine per year into Caroline County.
Most of the suspects in this case have been tried and convicted by either the United States Attorney’s Office or the Caroline County Commonwealth’s Attorney. Thus far, prosecutors have maintained a 100% conviction rate with sentencing ranging from suspended jail time with drug diversion programs to life imprisonment.
Sheriff Tony Lippa stated, “This operation was a great success and dealt a major blow to illegal drug dealers in and around Caroline County. I would like to thank all of the law enforcement agencies and Officers involved in this operation for their hard work and dedication. Furthermore, I want to thank the citizens of Caroline County that played a vital role in this operation by furnishing information, by expressing their concerns and supporting this Sheriff’s Office.”
Caroline County officials have indicted more than 60 people in an undercover drug operation spanning more than two years.
The sheriff’s office is calling this Operation Crack of Dawn. Deputies have broken up an organized drug ring in the Dawn community, which they believe was bringing in more than $3 million worth of cocaine to the county each year.
The Caroline County Sheriff’s Office has wrapped up its largest undercover drug operation in the history of the department. For the past few years, deputies have been working to crack open an organized drug ring in the Dawn community, made possible by its proximity to major roadways.
Now, 62 suspected cocaine dealers from New York to Atlanta — the majority from Caroline County — are facing charges and tens of thousands of dollars worth of evidence has been seized.[googlevideo=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5083190118961488044]
UPDATE #2: From NBC12 in Richmond, Virginia: Caroline County indicts more than 60 on drug charges (6 o’clock story):
The largest undercover drug operation in the history of Caroline County has broken up a multimillion-dollar cocaine ring. Officials say it’s a win in a significant battle in their war on drugs.
Caroline County Sheriff Tony Lippa says they have been working on this for more than two years now in conjunction with other local agencies and at the state and federal level.
Sixty-two people have been indicted and tens of thousands of dollars worth of evidence has been seized.
Multiple cars are now evidence in a multimillion-dollar drug ring that was being run out of the Dawn community of Caroline County. Officials are calling the drug bust Operation Crack of Dawn.
They’ve indicted 62 people as suspected cocaine dealers, 47 of whom are from Caroline, and they’ve taken away anything they think could have been helping move the drugs.
Sheriff Lippa says the war on drugs is an ongoing battle in Caroline County, specifically because their close proximity to major roadways creates a problem with drug trafficking.
Police believe this drug bust alone will stop more than $3 million worth of cocaine from making its way into the community each year — something he hopes is a step in the right direction, especially for Dawn.
You can call in anonymous tips to the sheriff’s office. The tip line is 633-1133.[googlevideo=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2635717330298520965]