York Police Chief upset that drug dealers back on streets

by: Sarah Rosario Updated:

Loading

YORK COUNTY, N.C. - Eyewitness News first reported a major drug bust in York County last week. In tonight's news, 10 of the 11 arrested are out on bond and more than half of them are repeat offenders. The York police chief blames the court system and says someone needs to be held accountable.

Police Chief Andy Robinson said by allowing repeat offenders back on the streets it could pose a major threat for residents. Friday, more than 50 officers took part in a drug bust that was months in the making. They served 31 warrants and made 11 arrests in the Valley area of York, S.C. Robinson said now that a majority of them are back on the streets there's nothing more he can do.

"Our job is to make the investigation, make the charges, put them in jail, and then from there we really have no control what happens. It's very frustrating to go through all that time, all that effort, all that manpower that goes into it and they're out of jail before our paperwork is even done," said Robinson.

Eyewitness News reported the bust was organized because of neighbor complaints about drug dealers in the area. Monday, Robinson sent us an email pointing out that the suspects' bonds were set by a county judge based on the suspects' alleged crimes not on their criminal history. With the accused dealers back on the street, the chief says they could be dangerous.

"Some of them have already been to prison in the past on gun violations, larcenies, and other drug convictions. Our fear is that they're repeat offenders; they know they're going to go to prison. What have they really got to lose?"

We decided not to name the judge who set the bonds because he couldn't be reached by news time. Robinson said he's going to talk to other police chiefs and sheriffs to see if they're having the same problem with bonds set by county judges. If it continues, he said he'll consider taking the issue up with court administrators.