• Deputies: Marijuana, cocaine, $146K seized in Catawba County drug bust

    By: Dave Faherty


    CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. - Marijuana, cocaine and tens of thousands of dollars were seized during a major drug bust Wednesday morning in Claremont and Newton, deputies said.

    Officers raided two homes and a garage after a two-month investigation. The majority of the drugs were found in Newton, less than two blocks away from North Newton Elementary School.

    Leslie Vences, a parent of an elementary school student, was alarmed to learn the drugs were so close to where children are taught.

    "It's scary. It's scary to know that it is so close to school, so close to where even kids walk to school around here,” she said. “It is really concerning"

    Investigators said their two-month investigation included several undercover buys.

    Deputies showed Channel 9 several pounds of marijuana and cocaine found inside the home on North Ashe Avenue that have a street value of nearly $40,000.



    The $146,000 in cash was found in a duffel bag inside the second home in Claremont, investigators said.

    No one has been in charged in the case. Authorities said they had made undercover buys at the homes, but when they went to the homes Tuesday night, no one was at either residence.

    Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid said anyone who believes the cash belongs to them should call him.

    “Anybody who wants to come in and claim the money we found, come on down and talk to me. Be glad to talk to you about it,” Reid said.

    The sheriff said because of the amount of drugs and cash seized, federal investigators are now getting involved in the case.

    Sheriff deputies said they expect to make arrests soon.

    Many residents near the school are thankful the drugs are gone.

    "That's ridiculous in this day and time that people don't have the respect or sanctity of education and children,” resident Renetta Hamrick said.

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