State fair after dark: What goes on after-hours where fair workers camp out?

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – It’s around 11 p.. on Thursday.

At the North Carolina State Fair, Sgt. John Moore and Deputy Jon Payne with the Wake County Sheriff’s Office start their rounds when the lights go down.

“It’s just like any other day going to work,” Moore said. “The fair doesn’t end.”

They and others patrol the property, even keeping a close eye on living areas where fair workers camp out.

Moore said some nights around the workers’ living areas have kept officers busy.

“They stay up all night. Some of them stay up until about 6 a.m.,” he said. “We’ve caught them using drugs that they shouldn’t be using and things that are illegal.”

Moore said drugs found range from marijuana to THC vape cartridges, edibles, mushrooms, and Adderall.

CBS 17 got an exclusive ride-along with the sheriff’s office, seeing two living areas around the property.

As of Thursday night, Moore said there have been 35 arrests since the state fair started. Many of the arrests, according to Moore, are drug-related, involve workers, and happen overnight.

Moore said officers also do what are called, “sneak and peeks.”

“We get out of the cars, we walk up, and start watching,” Moore said. “We actually walk those trailers, and we put our nose against the doors, because we’re trying to smell who’s doing the right thing, and who’s not doing the right thing.”

During the ride-along, deputies arrested a fair worker after finding marijuana, a THC vape, and gummies. The worker faces multiple charges, including possession of cocaine.

Moore added that workers who are arrested not only face criminal charges, but also get banned for one year from the fairgrounds.

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