Massive fugitive roundup nets 167 arrests


They called it "Operation Blue Thunder." It was a massive roundup of fugitives wanted in Cumberland and surrounding counties on a variety of charges, from assaults, narcotics and property crimes to probation violations.

Armed with more than 220 arrest warrants, the task force of federal, state and local officers fanned out early Tuesday and Wednesday morning and arrested 167 people.

Friday morning, the U.S. Marshal for North Carolina's eastern district said this was one of the largest roundups ever. In fact, they captured so many suspects that the Cumberland County Detention Center ran out of room.

"Realistically, we couldn't do it," said Cumberland County Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler. "We just didn't have the places to keep these people that need to be kept in jail, but that don't mean we forgot these people. We will be looking for them."

Many of those suspects are still behind bars.

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