Several people were arrested in the Charlotte area Monday during an early morning federal drug roundup.
In a crowded auditorium at the police academy, Lt. Ken Schul laid out the issue.
“The hotel corridor has been a prolific crime problem for about three years,” Schul said.
Moments later, nearly 100 police officers and federal agents spread out across the city, looking for suspects associated with running drugs and guns at hotels along the Interstate 85 corridor in north Charlotte.
Eyewitness News rode with a team headed by Officer Reggie Gilmore looking for a man named Kerwin Burke, who police said was wanted for repeated drug buys from undercover officers. Police went to his girlfriend’s house looking for him. Burke wasn’t inside but something else was.
“We did find some drugs in the house and some guns,” Gilmore said.
On Monday afternoon, Eyewitness News learned the owner of the house, Ted Kennedy, is a retired Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer who now, along with his wife, faces gun and drug charges.
“If you choose to engage in both drug activity and violence in this city, you're a target, regardless of who you are,” said Police Chief Rodney Monroe.
Monroe stood with the D.A. and U.S. Attorney Monday afternoon, talking about the ongoing crime problems at hotels near I-85 and Sugar Creek.
“There was a significant amount of crime in and around the hotels in this area, including prostitution, armed drug-dealing and armed robbery,” said U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins.
In Monday’s sweep, nine suspects were taken into custody. Eyewitness News was at the Sunset Inn along I-85 when police finally caught up with Burke.
Gary Dawkins, who heads the Hidden Valley neighborhood group, said it's action he and others have been waiting for.
“Our main concern is the quality of life in Hidden Valley,” he said.