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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with John Ledford, January 3, 2001. Interview K-0251. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Community growth brings crime

Ledford describes some of the law enforcement challenges growth brings, including policing increased drug trafficking and responding to criminals who can enter and leave the county with ease and speed.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with John Ledford, January 3, 2001. Interview K-0251. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

ROB AMBERG:
With kind of change coming say at Exit 11 right there at Mars Hill, what do you anticipate is going to be your biggest law enforcement issue at a place like that? What is going to be the type of thing that you're anticipating?
JOHN LEDFORD:
The immediate thing you'll have is armed robberies. Now of course that will be annexed into the city limits of Mars Hill. But there are two things on any interstate, you deal with drugs, couriers that type things, transportation of drugs. You're going to be coming right out of Florida. I-95 is known as the drug pipeline. 26 [N.C.] now is going to come, go right into 81 [N.C.], right on up too. So you're going to have to deal with that, and then the type of crimes that are committed that come off of interstates. Those type crimes, if you will look at most counties, most would tell you-Sheriff Alexander or Bobby [unclear] -of some of them being a "stop and rob." People pop off of the exit, rob the Exxon station, get back on the exit, and they can be in South Carolina in about an hour and Tennessee in about twenty minutes. Three different states now within an hour radius. Who do you look for? Who do you go out here and pick up? If somebody just stops off an exit and robs and shoots the place up, what do you do? The drugs coming in, but not only that just with the growth like that the hard drugs begin to come in the county.