Major methamphetamine ring broken up

Sheriff Bill Blanton announced today the results of an undercover operation (dubbed "Operation Chameleon") which began 18 months ago in Cherokee county. This operation targeted a major methamphetamine trafficking pipeline and meth dealers in North and South Carolina. This multi-state drug conspiracy was headed up by Frankie Blanton of Kings Mountain, N.C.

In S.C., the operation resulted in 22 arrests, mostly from Cherokee County. At least 14 arrests were in North Carolina. The operation in N.C. was led by the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office, the N.C. Bureau of Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in N.C.

The S.C. operation was led by Special Agent Steve Reynolds with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office and the Greenville office of the DEA.

These cases are being prosecuted in federal court by the United States Attorney's Office.

All but one of the 22 indicted subjects have pled guilty. Michael Bowen is awaiting trial. Of the individuals that have pled guilty, 16 have been sentenced and the other five are awaiting sentencing.

To see a complete list and pictures of all subjects, please click here.