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UNCC conducts probe into auto club

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have turned over findings from their investigation into possible connections between illegal street races and a UNC Charlotte car club, detectives.

Investigators said it's up to UNCC to determine whether any university or club rules were violated. UNCC's student affairs division is expected to complete its own probe in about a week, a spokeswoman said today.

A CMPD undercover investigation led to the arrests of six people last weekend who face numerous traffic-related charges. Police say they were involved in a pre-arranged street race along 13 miles of Interstate 485.

The investigation led authorities to members of UNCC's Horsepower Addicts, a club formed three years ago by students who like to hang out and talk about fast cars.

Club members told the Observer that their organization, which prohibits racing, was not involved in the weekend races. They typically only meet during the spring and fall semesters at a parking lot on campus.

On Saturday night about 300 cars and drivers met on a parking deck at the university before parading to the highway. They had a dozen races before authorities caught up to them at more than 100 mph, police said.

CMPD Detective Louis Rango told the Observer at least one of the people who was at the race Saturday has ties to the club. Whether the person – who was taped by undercover officers at a previous event on the deck – is a club member or a UNCC student isn't clear, Rango said.

Those details now are a university matter, not a criminal one, he said.

None of the drivers arrested Saturday were UNCC students.

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