In an interview with this newspaper last year, Williams had issued a blunt warning to people dealing drugs in Ashe County: “Sleep with one eye open, because we are looking for you.” On Wednesday, 15 people, all now facing felony drug charges, found out he meant it.
Dubbed “Operation Sleepy Eye” from that quote, the sweep began early Wednesday morning. Sixteen deputies, backed up by the county’s two canine units, rendevouzed at the Sheriff’s Office at 5:45 a.m. At 6, two teams rolled out of Jefferson.
Early morning travelers in various parts of the county were surprised to meet convoys of patrol cars silently moving on the dawn-lit roads. One after another, warrants were served and suspects brought in. When it was all over, Williams hailed the operation as a success.
Those facing charges at press time were (in alphabetical order):