A Wake Forest police officer was honored as one of the best in the state among officers who specialize in narcotics cases.
Sgt. L.N. Collie, who serves in Wake Forest’s narcotics unit, was named the 2015 North Carolina Narcotics Officer of the Year for the eastern part of the state.
“We’re very proud of Sgt. Collie,” Police Chief Jeff Leonard said in a statement. “He and our entire Narcotics Unit work tirelessly investigating drug-related cases throughout Wake Forest. His recognition as Narcotics Officer of the Year is a testament to both his commitment to our community and effectiveness on the job.”
Collie has been part of the Wake Forest Police Department since 2001. The department has had at least one drug officer for the past 25 years, town spokesman Bill Crabtree said.
The North Carolina Narcotics Enforcement Officer’s Association recognizes two officers each year – one from the western part of the state and one from the eastern part – who have used innovative ideas during drug investigations.
The association considers the community impact of the cases as well as the value of the drugs seized. The number of arrests and convictions are also considered.
In Wake Forest, the narcotics unit executed 31 search warrants last year. So far this year, the unit has executed 49, Crabtree said.
Capt. Dennis Wooten of the Nash County Sheriff’s Office presented the award to Collie during the association’s annual conference in Carolina Beach on May 20.
Wooten said Collie’s participation in a large drug bust in February was a factor in his being named an officer of the year.
Wake Forest police seized 23.5 pounds of marijuana, 104 oxycodone pills, guns, thousands of dollars in cash and a currency-counting machine from a home on Purisma Court.
Richard Hawes, 29, was charged with trafficking, possession of marijuana with intent to sell and deliver, and felony marijuana possession.
The arrest was the result of an eight-month investigation, according to the town.