Multiagency Wake County searches of parolees, probationers lead to 41 arrests

Federal, state, county and local law-enforcement officers arrested 41 people and seized guns, cash and drugs during two days of searching people on parole or probation in Wake County, the state Department of Public Safety (DPS) said Thursday.

Teams of law enforcement officers searched 56 locations and served 56 arrest warrants that contained 75 charges, a DPS statement said.

The arrests happened Tuesday and Wednesday during what officials dubbed Operation Summer Solstice.

People who are on probation as a sentence for a criminal conviction or who are on parole after serving time in prison can be searched any time by a probation or parole officer without a search warrant, state law says. The law covers a person’s vehicle and residence as well as long as the probationer or parolee is present.

The search teams went to 105 locations to attempt searches, the statement said.

Along with the arrests, DPS said, the sweeps netted 15 guns, $21,000 in cash and various drugs.

Officials said the guns came from a sex offender who had nine and a man on probation who had six guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Federal personnel working on the operation included U.S. marshals; agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the state’s Eastern District, which includes Wake County.

State probation and parole officers, Wake County sheriff’s deputies, and police from Raleigh, Apex, Cary, Garner, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Rolesville, Morrisville, Wake Forest and Zebulon were involved, the statement said.

The U.S. Marshals Service swore in about 40 local officers as special deputy marshals for the operation, giving them arrest authority beyond their communities.

“We are grateful to our federal and Wake County law enforcement partners for their hard work on this operation,” said Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks.

Ron Gallagher: 919-829-4572, @RPGKT