RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The highest-ranking member of the Bloods street gang in Brunswick County was among 26 arrested in a drug trafficking sting.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina said it partnered with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in 2017. Their goal was to go after Bloods gang members and other big drug traffickers in the Brunswick County area.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said they were able to seize fentanyl, heroin, crack cocaine, and multiple kilograms of cocaine. More than a dozen firearms were also found.
Nicholas Shamar Griffin was among those arrested. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said he was a “significant” trafficker of cocaine and crack cocaine and willing to use violence during his trafficking.
They said he described himself as the head of the Brunswick County Bloods.
Law enforcement said he was already on federal supervised release when he shot a man during a gang-related dispute. Griffin was sentenced to more than 29 years in prison.
Another high-ranking Bloods street gang member, Covia Dzell Smith, was arrested in the sting.
Investigators said he was involved in several acts of violence, including a shooting. He was convicted of drug trafficking offenses and sentenced to 25 years behind bars.
Sentences for the others ranged from three to 21 years.
The arrests were part of Operation Hell Swamp by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.
The task force focuses on dismantling criminal networks. It was also part of the Attorney’s Office’s Take Back North Carolina Initiative. Its purpose is to lower violent crime rates, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.