Operation Grinder Turns Up 12 Arrests At Greenville Convenience Stores

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A three month investigation called Operation Grinder turned up several busts of convenience and tobacco stores Wednesday. Alcohol Law Enforcement agents along with Greenville Police, Pitt County Sheriff's deputies, and Pitt ABC conducted search warrants at 11 shops in Greenville.

WITN's Clayton Bauman was with officers as they raided Dreams Tobacco Mart on South Memorial Drive. Officers say they found counterfeit money, drug paraphernalia, narcotics and a handgun. All of the items ended up back at Pitt County ABC for cataloging. One of the items targeted is dilutant drinks. Police say hey say are use to defraud drug tests.

"The dilutants are illegal at face value as long as they're sold as a vitamin drink, but what happens is people come in and they have to... they're asking for something because they've done some sort of drug and want it out of their system for a drug test," said Pitt County ABC Law Enforcement Chief Randy Andrews.

We're told items confiscated include counterfeit money, drugs, and a handgun. There were 12 arrests for felony and misdemeanor charges.