Columbus County Sheriff’s Office has a new initiative targeting open-air drug markets

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The sheriff’s office kick-starting a new effort called “Operation Take Back Columbus”, to step up its fight against drugs.

This initiative will target open-air drug markets in Columbus County, which are hot spots for people to use and sell drugs.

Columbus County and Brunswick County Sheriff’s Offices are teaming up to tackle the open air drug market problem. On Wednesday, they placed signs and surveillance cameras on Clyde Norris Road, in Tabor City, the first spot they’re zoning in on.

Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene, says because the area is close to South Carolina, there is a constant flow of people driving to Tabor City to buy drugs.

“Two shootings there, one was killed a month ago, in that very spot we always have problems, and we’re going to fix the problem, and its going to be presence in being there,” said Sheriff Jody Greene.

Sheriff Greene said these open air drug markets are a growing issue in the county, which is why they will monitor these areas around the clock.

“People stand there, through the day and night people pull up and buy their drugs there, so it’s not at a house. So we researched the landowner, they were gracious enough to sign us as agents, so we post the property. That gives us the right to be on that property, and monitor who is on that property,” said Sheriff Greene.

He said they have already noticed a decrease in activity in the area, and have pinpointed cars that frequent the open air drug market.

“It takes work, it takes being there, being seen,” said Greene. “To the people, the users, they’re going to get tired of it, and that’s going to hurt the suppliers. Basic economics, supply and demand.”

The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office hopes to further their partnerships for the initiative by also teaming up with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office.

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