SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) — Operation Rolling Thunder, a weeklong effort to remove drugs and other items off Spartanburg County highways wrapped up Friday.

“We got a total of 41 pounds and two ounces of marijuana and 5.87 pounds of cocaine,” said Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright.

Drivers may have noticed more police and deputies along I-85 and I-26 this week, as a part of this effort.

“We want Spartanburg to be a place where people know that any kind of illegal activity is not acceptable,” said Wright.

Traffic Violations
Open Container4
Vehicle License Violations66
No Headlights6
Resisting Arrest1
Improper Passing6
Unlawful Turn4
Driving Under Suspension11
Window Tint2
Driver’s License Violation21
Reckless Driving2
Uninsured Vehicle3
Equipment Violation51
Improper Lane Change233
Following Too Closely172
Failure to Stop2
Driving Left of Center14
Poss. of Alcohol by Minor1
Source: Spartanburg Co. Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Wright said it was a success, despite scaling down the operation this year.

“We are stopping the same amount of stuff, and I actually think that we had more seizures and more good contacts with a scaled down version,” said Wright.

Deputies and officers from several agencies searched 144 cars, arrested four fugitives, had 22 felony arrests, and confiscated drugs like marijuana, cocaine, meth, and more.

Drivers may have noticed more police and deputies along I-85 and I-26 this week, as a part of the effort.

Some of the traffic violations include speeding, vehicle license violations, improper lane change, following too closely, and equipment violations.

Sheriff Wright said most of the people who received violations did not live in the area.

“All this was taken off of our streets, so that our men and women don’t have a chance of having an overdose death,” said Wright.

He said this operation makes Spartanburg County and its highways safer.

“Most every family in this county and people that come here have had some kind of an issue with somebody being hooked on some type of drug. No family is immune to this,” said Wright.

According to the sheriff, the coroner’s office has seen a 109 percent increase in overdose deaths since 2018.

“Just in June of 2022, we had 27 overdose deaths and 21 were fentanyl deaths,” said Wright.

This year, deputies confiscated nearly $1 million in cash.

“I don’t have a problem taking drug dealers’ money away from them so they can’t reproduce some of the bad stuff that’s being put on our street, and I frankly question people that think this is a bad thing,” said Wright.

He said money seized this week, if the courts rule they can keep it, will help fund training and equipment for departments involved in the operation.

The sheriff also said there were no traffic deaths during Operation Rolling Thunder and believed the highways are safer when there’s additional law enforcement presence.