CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Witnesses described a dramatic drug bust playing out like a movie in one Charlotte neighborhood.
Officers seized large amounts of cocaine, marijuana and cash from a home on Hatton Cross Drive in the Steele Creek. Three people were arrested and another suspect is on the loose.
Police are crediting neighbors for letting patrol officers know about suspicious activity. Their tip led to the major bust of more than half a million dollars in cash and $100,000 worth of drugs.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department shared photos that offer a sneak peek into the drug bust. Meanwhile, witness Rob Wyatt says he got a front row seat to the dramatic arrests outside on Friday afternoon.
“Almost scripted like a movie,” Wyatt said. “They (officers) were introducing themselves as CMPD and the next thing I know they’re busting through the door, I think they had a battering ram.”
Wyatt said he saw “a couple people were coming out in handcuffs.”
After executing a search warrant, police arrested three men: 30-year-old Anthony Joseph Espinal, 24-year-old Jesus Manuel Rosario, and 32-year-old Socrates Jhoneril Gomez.
Police are still searching for another suspect, 21-year-old Christian Nunez.
Police say the suspects wrapped cash in duct tape, dunked in grease and kept in metal containers. They also wrapped cocaine as bricks, according to investigators. However, the men could not hide the suspicious activity from their neighbors.
“If the neighborhood didn’t speak up and tell us what was going on, these individuals would still be out there,” said Sgt. Danny Meyers of CMPD.
In all, police say they seized more than half a million in cash, 2.6 kilograms of cocaine and two pounds of marijuana from the home. They also recovered 1,000 hydrocodone pills and two guns.
Sergeant Meyers believes the drug bust will also reduce violent crime across the area.
“People get shot over small amounts and this is a huge amount,” Sgt. Meyers said.
Now, CMPD is offering up to a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of Nunez. Neighbors say they’ve seen enough action for a while.
“This is an unusual occurrence for such a quiet neighborhood,” said neighbor.
“I’ll have that memory for a long time,” Wyatt said.
Police say the takeaway from the drug bust is that if you see something suspicious in your neighborhood, say something.
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