Officials:Record amount of cocaine found in Catawba County

Staff Writer

by cigi sparks
o-n-e reporter
The Catawba County Drug Task Force made the biggest crack-cocaine bust in county history on Friday, according to Catawba County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jason Reid. The task force seized 5.5 pounds of the drug – valued at around $250,000 on the street.
Over the past few weeks, investigators with the task force have been heavily monitoring an area near Sherlock Street off Old Catawba Road near the town of Catawba and have made several recent drug related arrests as a result of their increased patrol. This increase in police action caused a local citizen to leave an anonymous tip with investigators, letting them know that drugs were being left in a wooded area near an apartment complex, according to Reid. The person who left the tip gave investigators a general location where the drugs were being kept. 
Following the tip, investigators secured a search warrant for 2472 Sherlock Street and the wooded area around the residence.
No drugs were found within the residence, however, after an in depth investigation of the wooded area near the residence, investigators recovered a black trash bag filled with 5.5 pounds of crack-cocaine in a trash pile. 
“We had an investigator who was relentless enough to dig through the pile of trash and go through each bag,” Reid said. 
The drugs were left in the pile on purpose, according to Reid. The drugs were being strategically hidden in the area. 
The area where the drugs were seized is less than 100 yards away from a school bus stop on Cindy Lane, according to Reid. 
“It’s very common for large scale drug traffickers to hide their product away rom their residence to it makes it hard for law enforcement to pin the drugs on a particular person,” Reid said. 
Investigators also recovered a “deer camera” from the area, that was aimed at the hiding spot. The camera was equipped with motion sensors, which would alert the suspect when someone or something got near the drug stash. 
Investigators currently have a forensics team going through the camera to see if the suspect appears on the footage. A forensics team will also be checking the trash bag that the drugs were in for fingerprints and DNA, according to Reid. 
“If anyone is willing to claim these drugs or the currency that was found, they need to contact authorities at the sheriff;s office or at the task force,” Reid said. 
The Catawba County Drug Task Force is made up of investigators from the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security.