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By SHAINA STOCKTON and BRIAN FUNK, Staff
Police tactical teams wearing body armor and brandishing automatic rifles were on the scene as investigators searched a business, vehicles and at least one residence in Galax.
The tactical units from Galax and Carroll County were serving drug-related warrants on behalf of the Twin County Drug Taskforce as part of an ongoing investigation, police on the scene reported.
Dressed in helmets, facemasks and olive drab military-style uniforms, the heavily armed members of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department’s tactical team hit Cali Mex car wash off East Stuart Drive around noon. Galax Police Department’s tactical team, decked out in black-and-white urban camo, descended on a residence in the Glendale Trailer Park off Hanes Road in Galax soon after.
Investigators were searching a mobile home and an ice cream truck parked outside the residence. The van had a Cali Mex sign on the door.
Outside Cali Mex, several people were handcuffed and detained while officers searched the building and cars parked outside. At least one person was taken into custody.
A spokesperson for the Virginia State Police confirmed at the investigation is ongoing. No names of those arrested or details of the investigation were released by press time on Monday evening.
During the raid on Monday, several Cali Mex customers arrived to pick up their cars that had been dropped off earlier that day for cleaning. Unable to move close to where the officers were working, the customers were escorted to their vehicles by police at the scene.
One customer had dropped off her Mercedes, and came back from lunch to find the tactical teams at work.
“Does this mean that they need to search my car?” she asked a nearby officer.
He said no, and then assisted her in backing her car out and had other officers clear a path. She was told that she could settle what money she owed with the business at a different time.
Chief Deputy Gary Bourne of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department said it was unusual for the team to work a crime scene at a business, especially one that was still open for customers.
At Glendale Trailer Park, residents eased past the crowd of officers in their vehicles on their way to and from their homes, and some peered out their windows with nervous and curious expressions.
The drug taskforce is a joint operation of Galax police, the Carroll and Grayson sheriffs’ departments and Virginia State Police.
• The Gazette is continuing to follow this story, and will update with details when they are available. For more information, if available, see www.galaxgazette.com and Friday’s edition of the newspaper.