HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. --
A busy parking lot in Huntersville quickly turned into a crime scene Thursday afternoon.
Police arrested four people after conducting a undercover drug operation near Highway 21 in Huntersville on Thursday afternoon.
Police arrested Tahj Kierre Wilson, Garnett Taylor Robinson, Jeremy Edward Berry and El-Tamon Maurice Greene in connection with the case.
"We had an under cover operation set up where we thought we were gonna purchase Marijuana," said Captain Ken Richardson of the Huntersville Police Department. He said around 3:00 p.m. Thursday his officers were set up to buy drugs from a suspect on the south end of a Cookout restaurant parking lot near Highway 21 in Huntersville. He said four men showed up, one of them with a gun, and tried to rob two under cover officers.
"It was a robbery. These guys came with the intent to rob no doubt about it."
A team of about eight safety officers were behind the scenes. They sprung into action, helping catch one of the suspects immediately. They chased another suspect and caught him yards from the parking lot. They also nabbed two other suspects. Nobody was hurt in the process and no property was damaged.
All four suspects are charged with two counts of armed robbery, conspiracy to commmit armed robbery, possession of marijuana, and sale and deliver marijuana.
Eyewitness News asked Captain Richardson why they'd conduct the operation in broad daylight and in such a busy place. He said drug dealers often like to meet in crowded areas in the day time, in order to keep from getting robbed themselves.
He said his team scoped out the place before hand, ensuring it was during a time that not many people would be around.
"We would not do an operation that we felt was unsafe or we didn't have enough personel," said Richardson.
Some people we spoke with, who frequent the area, said they understood that police have to go where the bad guys are.
"If that's where the drug transactions are happening, that's where you have to do the undercover operation," said Brian Long.
Richardson said he's been with the department for 18-years and this is the first time he's ever had a drug operation go bad.
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