Thirty Suspected Drug Dealers Arrested In Roundup

The Hancock County Narcotics Task Force took 30 suspected drug dealers off the streets Tuesday, and they're still looking for more than a dozen others. The early morning round up was the culmination of a three month undercover sting.

Several suspected mid and street level drug dealers were awaken by officers delivering the news they were under arrest. Getting those hard sleepers out of bed and to the door took a little coaxing..

"Let us in Corey or we'll kick the door in. I'm going to count to three. Get dressed brother, I've got a warrant for your arrest."

The people rousted out of bed are accused of selling cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana or prescription medications to undercover narcotics agents. At least five of the suspects are women. A 16 year old, who looks no more than 10, was also arrested.

"Fifteen years ago when I did this, there weren't a lot of people out there. There are more women doing this now, there's more kids doing this now, more people into narcotics. A lot of people are out of work and can't make a buck and this is the thing they look to," Narcotics Task Force Director Matt Karl said.

Karl says there's something else different about this group of suspects. Of the 43 names on warrants, only two have been arrested before for dealing.

"Were not keying in one area, we don't have any boundaries in the county on drugs. We're going as far North, as far South, East and West - basically if you're out there dealing drugs, we're coming for you," Hancock County Sheriff Steve Garber said.

Operation "Bus Um" did just that, bussing the suspected dealers straight to jail. Those arrested today were placed under a $10,000 bond for each time they allegedly sold drugs to undercover agents.

Sheriff's officials believe their sting operations are making an impact on the community. They say in this round up they saw fewer crystal meth cases.

by Al Showers