by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:
WAXHAW, N.C. - Sixteen suspected drug dealers are off the streets and behind bars after a drug roundup Thursday, Waxhaw police said.
The roundup was the culmination of a two-month investigation to eradicate what they called "street-level drug dealers."
During the investigation, narcotics officers said they bought a variety of drugs in undercover buys, including heroin, marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine, LSD and mushrooms.
"The amount of drugs and drug dealers that we got is a lot, I think, for any town," said Police Chief Michael Eiss.
Eiss said the dealers were not all local -- some traveled from Monroe, Charlotte and even South Carolina to peddle the drugs.
Narcotics officers said the drugs were being sold all over the town, including inside the town park, near Waxhaw Elementary School and even inside the bathroom of the local McDonald’s, where one suspect worked.
Police said undercover officers also bought stolen weapons during some of the drug deals.
Waxhaw's mayor said she was proud of the department's work in getting the dealers off the streets.
"We're going to continue to make it more difficult for that type of activity to occur in our community," Mayor Daune Gardner said.
Residents said they had seen evidence of drug activity in some areas of town, but even they were surprised at how widespread the problem was in this picturesque town.
"The elementary school? That's surprising. It's wrong; that's just wrong. I hope they stay behind bars," said resident Dolly Johnston.