Forsyth County I-Team relaunches to combat drugs, human trafficking and other criminal activity

FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. -- New Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough is bringing back the Interdiction Team. The team first formed in 1999 through a federal grant but only lasted five years.

“Historically when the team was here years ago we were able to make a big impact on Forsyth County. We were able to seize almost $1 million in cash from vehicles involved in narcotic activity. We were also able to stop violent fugitives and find a substantial amount of marijuana on a tractor-trailer traveling through Forsyth County,” said Capt. Mark Elliott, who manages the I-Team.

In the first week of the relaunch, this three-man specially-trained team has recovered 1,900 units of LSD, 100 units of Ecstasy, 35 grams of marijuana, two fully loaded AK-47 assault-style rifles, $1,400 in cash and made four arrests on our highways.

“For the normal citizen, they don't really realize that criminals traditionally do not walk, they continue their criminal enterprise by the use of a motor vehicle and that’s usually a tractor-trailer, SUV, and regular POVs used to commute every day,” Elliott said.

You will likely see this team at cut throughs on major interstates and, be warned, they are watching your actions.

“They are trained to make judgments based on the drivers reaction to their presence, not their criminal activity in the cars,” Major Rocky Joyner said.

The more busts these deputies make, the more money taxpayers save on getting these departments new equipment and training personnel.

“If we go out and we make a currency seizure and assets in addition to that which is a vehicle seizure, any other things that the drug dealers may have possession of when the court adjudicates that case those can be awarded back to the agency under a certain percentage,” Elliott said.

The team hopes to grow and eventually have eight members.

We reached to other local sheriff’s offices to see if they have a similar team. We only heard from Alamance and Randolph counties.

Randolph County: During Sheriff Maynard Reid’s administration, the county began a Criminal Interdiction Team in 2004. It was eliminated under Sheriff Robert Graves’ administration, which began February 2016. It was reinstated in December 2018 under Sheriff Greg Seabolt.

Biggest busts since 2004: 25 kilos of cocaine

Alamance County: Has a Special Operations Team that is trained in Interdiction. The unit was formed in 2003. One of the largest seizures came in 2005 where 50 kilos of cocaine was found.

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