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Recent Raleigh Nightlife Drug Arrests by ALE

Posted by Sean P. CecilMay 30, 20240 Comments

Recent drug busts in Downtown Raleigh and the South Glennwood corridor have been prominently reported in the local news. Employees and patrons of several Raleigh nightlife mainstays have been arrested and charged with offenses related to conspiracy and trafficking a variety of controlled substances, including cocaine, MDMA/Ecstasy, cannabis, ketamine, LSD, and alprazolam. Some of these charges, including charges recently announced against a local firefighter and his wife, will come with hefty mandatory minimum sentences under state trafficking laws. I would not be surprised if the local USDOJ indicts that case, or others that involved firearms, in federal court. Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense carries a mandatory 60-month sentence that is in addition to any sentence a defendant receives on the underlying drug offenses in federal court.

Interestingly, the agency that investigated these charges and apparently conducted controlled buys using its own agents is North Carolina Alcohol and Liquor Enforcement (NC ALE). NC ALE gets involved in a lot of criminal cases that might surprise folks who would assume that its mandate is strictly regulatory. It is one of several North Carolina law enforcement agencies with a very broad mandate and vaguely defined mission. I have seen cases where ALE conducted investigations and arrests of individuals for such minor and mission-bending allegations as possession of marijuana in a convenience store parking lot, and one case where they investigated and arrested a person for interstate methamphetamine trafficking. These cases can be frustrating because ALE, in my experience, does not wear body cameras and thus the specific facts and circumstances of their interactions may be difficult to establish outside their own agent's testimony. 

We are available for consultation or representation in all North Carolina drug trafficking cases, either state or federal. Give us a call or fill out the form on our sidebar to set up a free consultation to discuss your situation and whether we might be a good fit!