WJTV News Channel 12 - ‘Operation Grinder’ busts Pitt County stores selling illegal ite

‘Operation Grinder’ busts Pitt County stores selling illegal items

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Drug paraphernalia, dilutants, and counterfeit goods are just some of the illegal items seized from convenience and tobacco stores across Pitt County this afternoon.

"This is an effort that was spearheaded by ABC and ALE to really target some of these businesses in the area that were doing a little bit more than selling drinks and cigarettes." said Deputy Justin Jones of the Pitt County Sheriff’s K9 Unit.

It all part of “Operation Grinder” a three month investigation into stores who were selling products that are marketed for tobacco use, but are really used for marijuana and other illegal drugs.

The joint effort between law enforcement agencies also seized a variety of counterfeit items that break trademark laws.

Legal vitamin drinks were also seized because they were being sold as drug dilutents that help people pass drug tests.

Chief R.D. Andrews of Pitt ABC Law Enforcement explained the drinks, “We have people that are on probation who are mandated drug is urinalysis test every month. A couple days for their drug tested they go buy these diluents.  They take the diluents and it cleans their system out so they pass the drug test.”

ALE and ABC law enforcement partnered with Greenville Police and the Pitt County Sheriff’s office for the operation.

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