FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WEDNESDAY - August 24, 2011
MEMBERS OF AN OCDETF OPERATION INVESTIGATION/PROSECUTION TEAM RECEIVE AWARD
RALEIGH - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that on August 17, 2011, in Durham, North Carolina, the North Carolina Gang Investigators Association (NCGIA) honored Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation Wipeout with a Board Achievement and Recognition Award at its annual NCGIA conference. Honored were those who have participated in this investigation including Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent William Effler, ATF Special Agent Christopher Speer, ATF Task Force Officer Adam Boyd, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations (NCSBI) ASAC Masha Seal, Plymouth Police Department Investigator Kevin Sitterson, Washington County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Kevin Sawyer, and Assistant United States Attorney Denise Walker.
OCDETF Operation Wipeout began in December, 2009, as a joint effort among the ATF, the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement, the NCSBI, the Plymouth Police Department and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, all seeking to combat the increasing drug, weapons and gang problem in Eastern North Carolina, particularly in the Washington County area. Through the course of the investigation, a total of 109 individuals, some 3% of the population of Plymouth, have been charged at either the state or federal level. Of those individuals, 74 have been the subject of federal indictments. Over 50 firearms and more than 900 rounds of ammunition have been confiscation and more than 4 kilograms of powder cocaine and more than 2 kilograms of crack cocaine have been seized. Of those arrested, more than 25 have been identified as active gang members and another 25 have been identified as associates or affiliates of gangs. The investigation is ongoing.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.