Narcotics Detective Battles Overwhelming Odds On Job

August 17, 1986  |  The Daily Progress

Excerpts From Article

When Charlottesville narcotics Detective J.E. "Chip" Harding is about to bust a drug dealer, he usually faces a brief but dangerous task.

"The majority of the search warrants we serve are 'no-knock,'" he said. "You've got people in their residence who are doing drugs, and 9- percent of the time they are armed, and you're going to break through their door or bust through their window in a matter of seconds."

Although he said he can control his fear, he added, "You don't feel like you are invincible at all."

Harding works undisguised-"Charlottesville is too small to work undercover"-and most drug dealers in the area know his name, his face and the kind of car he drives, he said.

But drug dealers aren't the only people familiar with Harding. His name is well known to anyone who has followed the federal grand jury investigation of cocaine trafficking in the Charlottesville area.

Harding serves on a team of law enforcement officers who gathered information that exposed the drug ring, and he has testified at the hearings of several defendants facing cocaine charges.

J. E. "Chip" Harding

Albemarle Sheriff's Office
410 E. High Street
Charlottesville, Va 22902