WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY from 6AM to 6PM Thursday for Avery, Mitchell, Yancey, Madison, Buncombe, Haywood, Swain, Graham and Northern Jackson Counties. Light snow, sleet and ice accumulations are likely during this time period, creating hazardous travel conditions.
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WEST ASHEVILLE, NC -- Corbett Reed said he had no idea his neighbor Christopher Murphy was a suspected drug dealer. A raid conducted by Alcohol Law Enforcement(ALE) agents and US Postal Inspection Agents raiding Murphy’s house on Middlemont Avenue in West Asheville left Reed and his neighbor Mo Tanner in shock.
“They(ALE) did not have to have people running around with machine guns and body armor,” said Reed.
“They had loads of guns and attitude,” said Tanner. “It was a very frightening experience.”
Reed took video of the agents at the scene after the raid was over. He said he was too fearful of retaliation by the officers during the raid as he said they had their weapons in hand.
“I saw them bring one man out in pajamas,” said Reed.
That man was 31-year-old Murphy who is suspected of possessing and dealing in illegal drugs including opium, ecstasy, and heroin.
Asheville Pollice spokesman Sgt Dave Romick, confirmed an APD team was there but he said they were not part of the raid and only used to transport Murphy to jail after he was taken into custody.
The issue for Tanner and Reed is that no safety perimeter was set up during the raid by any agent involved. Reed said he was having to direct pedestrians including a mother with a small child from going down the street while the armed agents were still at the house.
“I was really upset about it,” said Reed. An ALE spokeswoman said she could not comment on the investigation into Murphy and did not return calls to News Thirteen to address neighbor’s concerns.
“They are out of control and doing whatever they want,” said Tanner. “Their protection and their safety was more important than anyone else’s in the neighborhood. There's like twenty guys here, but no one was set aside to go to the people, women with babies walking down the street, and say ‘could you wait a minute, could you be careful, could you walk over here so you could don’t get shot by us by accident.’” Warrants obtained by News Thirteen revealed the multiple probable cause affidavits agents had to investigate Murphy. Sgt. Romick with APD said Murphy had accepted illegal narcotics delivered by mail and that after he had accepted the package, agents moved in to make his arrest.
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WLOS News 13 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Asheville, NC and nearby towns and communities in Western North Carolina and the Upstate of South Carolina, including the counties of Buncombe, Henderson, Rutherford, Haywood, Polk, Transylvania, McDowell, Mitchell, Madison, Yancey, Jackson, Swain, Macon, Graham, Spartanburg, Greenville, Anderson, Union, Pickens, Oconee, Laurens, Greenwood, Abbeville and also Biltmore Forest, Woodfin, Leicester, Black Mountain, Montreat, Arden, Weaverville, Hendersonville, Etowah, Flat Rock, Mills River, Waynesville, Maggie Valley, Canton, Clyde, Franklin, Cullowhee, Sylva, Cherokee, Marion, Old Fort, Forest City, Lake Lure, Bat Cave, Spindale, Spruce Pine, Bakersville, Burnsville, Tryon, Columbus, Marshall, Mars Hill, Brevard, Bryson City, Cashiers, Greer, Landrum, Clemson, Gaffney, and Easley.