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

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

Drivers may have noticed more police officers and deputies along Interstates 85 and 26 as part of this effort.

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

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

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,” he said.

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

The traffic violations included speeding, vehicle license violations, improper lane change, following too closely, and equipment violations.

Wright said most of the people who were cited 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,” Wright said.

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,” Wright said. “No family is immune to this.”

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

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

This year, deputies confiscated nearly $1 million.

“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,” Wright said.

He said the money seized, 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. He also said the highways are safer when there is an additional law enforcement presence.