by: Mark Becker Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Police in east Charlotte called it an open air drug market and Eyewitness News was there Friday as they moved in to shut it down.
It was the end of a two month undercover operation that identified 15 people allegedly involved in the drug and gun business along Albemarle Road near Farm Pond. The operation was headed up by Captain Chuck Henson of the Hickory Grove Division.
"Today is the day we're going to take everyone down ... We've got seven suspects we're going after," Henson said, as he briefed officers just before they headed out on the sweep.
By noon they had arrested three of those suspects and were working to find the others.
People living and working near that area said they have heard the gunshots and seen the drug dealing and they were glad to see police move in.
"It's wreaking havoc in the neighborhoods! And we'd just like to get the neighborhoods cleared up because there are a lot of good people who live here," said one man who did not want to be identified.
Police say they took several pounds of drugs off the streets -- from heroin to methamphetamine and cocaine -- and that several of those suspects may face federal charges.
And, they say, they hope the roundup sends a message.
"We wanted to get the guys who are putting the weight on the streets and causing us the most headaches, and get them off," Henson said.