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‘It is bad’: Major bust shines light on drug problem

Henderson Co. Sheriff Ofc./WLOS

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    HENDERSON COUNTY, North Carolina (WLOS) — Eighteen people have been charged as a result of a large drug bust in Henderson County.

Henderson County Sheriff Lowell Griffin said it was part of Operation WaveRider, an investigation that began eight months ago and is still ongoing.

At about 8 a.m. Friday, May 14, units from Henderson County and surrounding areas served six warrants which led to the arrest of 18 people.

He said more charges could be on the way.

“It’s bad, it is bad,” said Myrtle O’Neal, who lives in the Green Meadows community of Hendersonville, talking about how bad the drug problem is in her area.

Four of the six search warrants for this operation happened in that neighborhood.

O’Neal said it has not been safe to be outside at night.

She said, sadly, there have also been a lot of overdoses. Multiple reported overdoses was one of the key factors that initiated Operation WaveRider.

“People losing their lives and stuff and it’s just not fair, it’s not fair,” she said.

Sheriff Griffin said he hopes that’s going to change.

“I’ve got aggressive investigators,” he said.

The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office worked closely with the Hendersonville Police Department on this investigation.

The 18 people charged, mostly from Hendersonville, have been charged on a variety of offenses stemming from felony drug trafficking.

Sheriff Griffin said Henderson County is one of 15 counties in North Carolina known as a high intensity drug trafficking county.

“To hide from it and say we don’t have a drug problem is just trying to sweep something under the rug,” he said.

O’Neal said she hopes this bust is a sign things are going to change.

“Sleep a little better; it’s been quiet and everything the last three nights or so,” she said.

Sheriff Griffin said Operation WaveRider was named in honor of fallen Henderson County Deputy Ryan Hendrix.

The operation happened the same day the sheriff’s office building was dedicated to him.

“WaveRider” was Hendrix’s Facebook name.

If you know of any possible drug activity, Sheriff Griffin urges you to reach out to the sheriff’s office.

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