14 Law Enforcement Officers Indicted in Massive North Carolina Drug Stint

Posted by Josh Valentine | Jul 19, 2017

Scandals involving illegal drugs and associated crimes have pretty much become commonplace in the nation. When these crimes are committed, citizens rely on law enforcement officials to offer them protection by arresting perpetrators and bringing them to justice. But time and time again, citizens have witnessed that sometimes, the very authorities that are supposed to be primarily concerned with public safety are the very figures who are also engaged in illegal activity. The existence of “crooked cops” is not a new phenomenon. Civilians have witnessed this misconduct exhibited by law enforcement since the institution has been established. When these officials are exposed and punished, it is often a public spectacle. These instances serve as a reminder that law enforcement officials are not infallible and are capable of making mistakes.

A recent example of this misconduct recently transpired in North Carolina and Virginia, when more than a dozen cops were busted for being apart of a massive drug stint. The undercover operation, known as “Operation Rockfish,” had been actively under siege for nearly a year and a half.

According to recent articles, eight law enforcement officers, four correctional officers, and two prison employees were arrested for serving as escorts and distributors in a drug trafficking operation involving heroin and cocaine. They assisted civilians with trafficking the illegal substances up and down the 1-95 corridor in North Carolina.

The most shocking part of this scandal was the arrests of 11 Northampton County, North Carolina police officers. The arrests made by the FBI, DEA and other agencies immensely shocked fellow employees, members of the community and family members alike. County Sheriff Jack Smith expressed his emotions pertaining to the entire ordeal.

“I'm hurt and surprised. I'm shocked and appalled at these types of indictments,” Smith told the media. “We can't tolerate this type of behavior, especially from law enforcement. They've let me down. They've let the sheriff's office down. They've let the citizens down as well as their families. Most of them have children and they've let them down as well.”

All 14 defendants were recently indicted on numerous charges. These charges included counts of bribery, the use of a firearm and the conspiracy to distribute illegal narcotics. Thorough investigations made during the course of the operation revealed that the law enforcement agents protected the shipments of drugs in exchange for thousands of dollars. And according to a prosecutor, when confronted with evidence of their involvement, the participants all gave some form of a confession.

The FBI claims that there is a possibility that other arrests may be made.

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you have been accused and arrested under the suspicion that you committed a criminal offense, you should take full advantage of your right to an attorney. A legal professional can help you reduce these charges or get them completely dismissed. Contact Caulder & Valentine today for a consultation.

About the Author

Josh Valentine

You could say Josh has a God-given ability for sustaining long-term relationships. He and his wife first met in elementary school and went to Gardner Webb University (GWU) together, where they tied for number 1 in their class. Then, they both started law school on the same day of their graduation and got married during their first semester. He has also known his law partner Blake Caulder since Kindergarten. Theirs is the perfect partnership. “He’s the brake; I am the accelerator,” Josh says. Both Josh and his wife attended an innovative program at Charlotte Law School that allowed them to complete law school in two years instead of the typical three. His wife graduated and passed the North Carolina bar at age 20, becoming one of the youngest attorneys in the state. He readily admits she’s smarter than him. Of course, Josh went on to pass the North Carolina State Bar himself and later the South Carolina State Bar. While in school, he was Associate Editor of the Law Review and received accolades like Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society membership, Order of the Crown, Pro Bono Honors, CALI Awards (highest grade). In his career as a lawyer, he has been admitted to the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, is a member of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys, and completed training for DWI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Josh has also been named to the Top 40 Under 40 for Criminal Defense by The National Trial Lawyers, the Business North Carolina 2019 Legal Elite for Criminal Defense, and the 10 Best Attorneys for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys three years in a row (2016, 2017, and 2018). Community involvement has been important to Josh all his life. In high school, he participated in building a Holocaust museum that has become internationally regarded. He and his wife are actively engaged in animal rescue, which currently means seven cats and two kittens. He served in prison ministry and assisted with fundraiser banquets there, and he provides pro bono and reduced fee legal services to those in need. As if all of that weren’t enough, Josh also mentors high risk youth and helps with his church’s youth group. He participates in other community volunteer projects involving construction, remodeling, drywall, painting, and landscaping. He’s an active student of the Bible and has traveled to Israel, Brazil, and Europe for mission work. No one can say Josh isn’t a well-rounded individual. In his spare time, he likes to play softball, basketball, and tennis, and he can play the piano and trombone. Sometimes on weekends, believe it or not, he enjoys pouring and finishing concrete with friends who own a concrete and grading business. In his law practice, Josh has made it a point to develop positive relationships with officers, clerks, and district attorneys, which has proven invaluable in delivering positive results for his clients. It’s important to him to both listen to his clients and fight for them. Law enforcement officers have important responsibilities to keep our communities safe and uphold the law, but one of the responsibilities of attorneys is to make sure officers do their job correctly. Josh considers it his job to hold them accountable for their actions. Josh is a person of deep faith. He knows that the established order of our universe and strength of America’s Judeo-Christian influenced court system is built on God’s word. His passion to serve each client with innovation, excellence and integrity is a byproduct of his faith. When asked why he became a lawyer, Josh says, “All through my life, I have personally witnessed family members and very close friends endure divorce, child custody battles, bankruptcy, civil lawsuits, and even fraudulent criminal accusations. I both saw and experienced the stress such events can place on an individual, and I realized that everyone, at some point in their life, needs hope, comfort, and encouragement. In each one of those situations, the person who was best situated to provide that vital support was their lawyer. So that’s why I became an attorney. I understand what you are going through, and I’m here to help you. Our office is focused on meeting your needs and guiding you through what may be the most difficult time of your life.” Education: Charlotte School of Law J.D., Magna Cum Laude Class Rank – 21 of 328 Associate Editor of Charlotte School of Law Law Review Certification and Concentration in Employment Law Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society Order of the Crown Pro Bono Honors CALI Awards (Highest Grade)—Lawyering Process I and Contracts I Full Scholarship Gardner-Webb University B.S. in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude Distinguished Senior Student Award – Highest GPA Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honorary Society Bar Admissions: North Carolina State Bar