Operation Fresh Start: Spartanburg Co. Sheriff's Office launches - FOX Carolina 21

Operation Fresh Start: Spartanburg Co. Sheriff's Office launches campaign to curb drug trafficking

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Sheriff Chuck Wright speaks at press conference on Operation Fresh Start. (FOX Carolina/ 1/24/18) Sheriff Chuck Wright speaks at press conference on Operation Fresh Start. (FOX Carolina/ 1/24/18)

On Wednesday, Spartanburg County Sheriff' Chuck Wright addressed the public during a press conference on Operation Fresh Start.

Wright said the campaign, aimed at curbing the presence of illegal drugs in Spartanburg County communities and getting drug traffickers off the streets, has been underway for 5 months.

"We're gonna get these street-level drug dealers and get em into rehab or jail, whichever one they need," said Sheriff Wright.

Wright applauded the work of the Sheriff's Office, its narcotics team and the Solicitor's Office over the past five months with Operation Fresh Start. At the time of the press conference on January 24, Wright said that 31 out of 64 targeted suspects had already been brought in.

"These are your people that are stealing, just to supply all their drugs for them," Wright explained. "There's a lot of things been stolen out of cars, a lot of shoplifting, a lot of houses have been broken into. That's unacceptable."

Wright said the Sheriff's Office has been getting a lot of tips from people who call them in on their tip line or contact the media with their information.

Methamphetamines, pills, marijuana and cocaine were among some of the street drugs Wright listed during the press conference. Wright said there will be more roundups like Operation Fresh Start in 2018.

"We work really hard to get these street level drug dealers," said Wright. "We're hoping they'll tell us where they're getting their supply from."

Wright asked that members of the community come forward with their tips.

"Give us tips from the community. Tell us what's strange in your neighborhood and let us figure it out," Wright said. "We haven't been playing with them and we certainly aren't going to start now." 

Wright said that if the average non-law enforcement person can see that a lot of cars are coming to a home, staying there 3-5 minutes and leaving, it's probably drugs. 

"So the more tips you guys you give us, the better off we are," said Wright. "Write tag numbers down, descriptions of the cars, what the people look like that come in  there, what normal time of day or month they they come into those communities - that kind of helps us pinpoint our focus."

And for the remaining targeted suspects in the roundup, Wright had a message:

"The other ones - you might as well turn yourself in because we're gonna get you," said Wright. "These people in Spartanburg County love their sheriff's department, they love their police force and they're gonna tell us where you are."

Wright said the list of suspects in the roundup was gathered through undercover buys, having prior dealings with the suspects or by the suspects being identified through an investigation. Warrants have been issued for arrests, and law enforcement is just trying to get the suspects into custody, said Wright.

And though Wright said his officers are equipped with Narcan, drug addiction in the Upstate has still claimed many lives.

"It's very sad that we have people that we know and love that have this addiction," said Wright. "You are gonna die. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. It's going to kill you."

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