BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – The Sheriff of Brunswick County says officials are taking extra steps to prevent a spillover of crime from Wilmington.
The sheriff says gang members and drug dealers in Wilmington often work with counterparts in different areas of the region. He says the best way to prevent problems is for law enforcement agencies to partner together.
Tuesday night, three men were arrested with 90 bags of heroin after a car chase that ended in Leland.
Two of the men are from Wilmington. According to a press release from the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office, further investigation into possible gang involvement is ongoing.
We asked Sheriff John Ingram if he thinks the Wilmington gang problem is spilling over to Brunswick County.
"It's no secret that people have friends, relatives, or maybe a trusted source of supply in one jurisdiction but actually operate in another jurisdiction," said Ingram. "These people are in and out of our county and the other counties and cities involved in these criminal activities"
The sheriff says law enforcement agents will approach any type of gang activity and drug activity very aggressively. In the meantime, Ingram says communication between other agencies is the key to making a difference.
Recently, the town of Leland has seen an uptick in attempted armed robberies. Last Monday, the Food Lion on Village Road was robbed. Then, earlier this week, two men attempted to rob a business owner at gunpoint in Leland.
Both robberies are currently under investigation by the Leland Police Department. At this time, there is no indication that the robbery attempts are gang related, but considering the recent crime wave in Wilmington, Sgt. Patrick McGowan with the Leland Police Department is thinking about what the future holds in terms of gang violence in Leland.
"We do have concerns when you start to see the beginning signs of an epidemic," said McGowan. "We want to do what we can to respond accordingly."
Sheriff Ingram says with the interaction of criminal activity, there is naturally gang activity related.
He said that the criminal element does not honor jurisdictional alignments. The sheriff's office is taking an aggressive approach to eliminating crime and removing gang members from the streets. Ingram says individuals involved in criminal activity should be aware that Brunswick County is not a wise place to come.
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