CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. - A Caldwell County sheriff’s candidate has vowed to stay in the race hours after his drug arrest.
After a monthlong investigation, Robert Crump and his son are behind bars, accused of selling drugs out of their home south of Lenoir.
Crump told Channel 9 he believes he was set up.
Crump and his son Will, Robert Crump's campaign manager, are charged with possession with intent to sell and distribute marijuana after a SWAT team forced its way into his home Wednesday night.
Officers said they also found marked bills in the candidate's possession used during previous undercover investigations.
"Knocked the door down with a battering ram and shot three times in the house,” Crump said.
Sheriff's deputies said the State Bureau of Investigation got a search warrant after they learned about numerous purchases of marijuana from Crump and his son.
Agents located several bags and containers of individually packaged marijuana, digital weighing scales, packaging material and ledgers.
Channel 9 contacted the spokesperson for the Democratic Party who said they never supported Crump's bid to become sheriff because he didn't have the experience for the job.
Voters aren't sure what will happen this November, but some admit the arrest hurts Crump's chances.
"I want to ask him, if you were gonna arrest somebody and they had a small amount of weed you had, how would you feel? voter Purvis Carlton said.
"I'm not against the marijuana, but I'm against what he was doing,” voter Blake Greene said.
As Crump was led into court Thursday, he said he is staying in the race and hopes people will vote for who they want.
The two men were issued a $15,000 bond.
"Are you still running Robert?,” reporter Dave Faherty asked Crump.
“Yes sir,” Crump said.
“Did you have drugs?” Faherty followed
“No,” Crump responded.
Officers said they seized more than half a pound of marijuana.
Current Sheriff Alan Jones didn’t comment.
The Caldwell County Election Board said Crump can only be removed from the ballot if he's convicted of the drug charges.
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