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Nightclub Drug Bust
A year-long investigation leads to a major drug bust at a West Asheville nightclub. Eleven people were arrested on several charges Thursday night, including possession and sale of cocaine, marijuana, and prescription pills. The raid happened at Club Xcapades, a gentlemen's club on New Leicester Highway.
Asheville police notified the North Carolina Department of Public Safety's Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) division that drugs were being sold there. It made the arrests as part of its "community betterment initiative"a program designed to reduce violent offenses caused by drug deals.
Nearby residents like Shannon Pfeiffer are happy with the raid. It will prevent teenagers and anybody young or youthful from going into the club and getting away with things that normally wouldn't be allowed, she says.
ALE agent John Pace says the nearly dozen arrested face drug possession and sale charges. He says, "we're looking at cocaine, marijuana, and controlled substance or prescription medications." Pace says the investigation paid off big. "Overall, if I had to say how did it go I would say out of one to ten, we hit a ten." Pace says prescription pill use is of particular concern since its use is on the rise.
Jeanette King works across the street from Club Xcapades. She says she's sad to hear about the drug activity there and would like to see a different type of business. She says, "it would have been nice to have it family oriented, because there's a lot of residential neighborhoods around here."
Representative Tim Moffitt was invited to observe the arrests. He says the bust reflects his commitment to cracking down on drugs. Agents with ALE say the investigation continues and more arrests are possible.
Those charged are:
Timothy Anderson, 45, Asheville
Ruslan Klimovich, 21, Asheville
Rhonda Lemons, 49, Asheville
Jesse Lemons, 27, Asheville
Erica Calvert, 23, Fairview
Robert Lanter, 36, Swannanoa
Brittney Rittenberry, 24, Asheville
Charles Simmons, 30, Asheville
Richard Jiles, 33, Asheville
Robert Brooks, 31, Asheville
Rianda Akins, 23, Asheville
By Rex Hodge
Follow Rex on Twitter @RexHodgeWLOS