by: Tina Terry Updated:
LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. - A large and dangerous drug bust has netted hundreds of thousands of dollars of cocaine.
Eyewitness News learned the bust is linked to a major organization pushing drugs all over the area.
Lincoln County Sheriff's Deputies showed us the tightly wrapped packages of cocaine worth nearly half-a-million dollars. Sheriff David Carpenter said officers nabbed the drugs on Highway 321, which they regularly patrol, knowing it's used as a drug highway for criminals.
They stopped a car Thursday around 1:20 a.m. and found the cocaine inside, along with a pistol, cash and marijuana. They arrested two suspects, but not before one fought back and tried to run, police said.
"This morning was a very serious dangerous situation," Carpenter said.
Carpenter said the cocaine was headed to Catawba County and is linked to a major drug network there. Police across several agencies are working to stop it.
"In turn that will probably be broken down and put out on the street of street sales and it will affect a multi-county area," Carpenter said.
He said the bust is proof that Hickory is becoming a major drug distribution center along with places like Atlanta and Charlotte. Drugs are taken there along highways like 321 and then broken down and delivered across our community to counties including Catawba, Iredell, Lincoln, Burke and possibly Mecklenburg.
"What happened this morning was a major distribution team that was halted. How long, I don't know," Carpenter said.
The two men arrested were charged with felony counts of trafficking cocaine. The sheriff said his office would continue to work with other law enforcement agencies to dismantle the drug organization in Catawba County.