More senior citizens being charged with drug trafficking

There's a nationwide trend that's visible in Brunswick County.

More senior citizens are facing drug charges.

On Monday, Richard Britt said he did a double take when he saw his neighbor's mug shot on TV. He quickly called his wife into the room.

"I called her and I said, come here," said Britt. "I said, there's Miss Hargrove. They got her for dealing drugs. She said, what?? I said, they got her for dealing drugs."

Britt's 72-year-old neighbor, Mary Hargrove, is charged with three counts of opium or heroin trafficking, among other charges.

"It was surprising that it was the grandmama," said Britt.

Lately, you just can't tell who might be involved in the drug trade. Three Brunswick County women in their 60s and 70s have all been charged with trafficking in the last month.

In addition to Hargrove's recent arrest in Supply, Shirley Prince, 64, and Cassie Dail, 73, were busted by drug agents in April for trafficking in Ocean Isle Beach.

Brunswick County's undercover vice and narcotics detectives say arresting seniors is a trend on the rise.

"It's always a shock," said one undercover agent, whose identity is being protected because of the nature of his job.

"It's definitely not something anyone wants to see because a lot of us have grandmothers and in a way you feel sorry for the people, but unfortunately we've come to learn that selling narcotics including paid medicine doesn't discriminate between age groups."

"Somebody that age should be thinking what they're doing," said Britt.

Vice and narcotics agents say seniors know better, but that doesn't stop them, especially when they're hurting for money.

"They know exactly what they're doing," said the detective. "And in the end it's always the greed that gets the person."

He's afraid we'll see more "greedy grannys" as time goes on. In other words, if you think these aren't your grandma's drug may have to think again.

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