Gulfport's Operation Troll leads to 60 felony drug warrants - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gulfport's Operation Troll leads to 60 felony drug warrants

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Gulfport officers said the drugs brought in from Operation Troll have about a $25,000 street value. Gulfport officers said the drugs brought in from Operation Troll have about a $25,000 street value.
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Dozens of suspected drug dealers woke up to the sound of police officers pounding on their doors, Wednesday. Officers targeted 60 people accused of selling drugs to a narcotics officer. The three month undercover investigation known as "Operation Troll" led to the arrests.

Moments after Gulfport officers spotted her walking down the street, Terri Alther was in handcuffs and claming she had no idea why she was going to jail.

"Have you done anything they accuse you of?" I asked.

Alther said, "No. I haven't."

However, officers tell a different story. After an intense investigation in which an undercover officer bought mostly cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana, police began making arrests. Officers accused many of those who were arrested of being street level dealers and police said most of them are feeding drug habits.

Sgt. Aaron Fore said, "Who of us who works full time can afford a $400 a day drug addiction? So what we see is a lot of these addicts are out committing crimes in our community. Burglarizing people's cars and homes. Stealing things."

Officers said where there are drugs, often there are guns and violence.

"One person owes another drug person money. Or one person is encroaching on another person's territory trying to sell drugs," said Sgt. Fore. "We have a lot of violence where one drug dealer is out of drugs, so he's trying to get some. He'll go find another drug dealer and break in his house and do a home invasion."

Gulfport police said the undercover officer also bought prescription drugs and spice during Operation Troll. Several state and federal agencies assisted Gulfport in the investigation.

Gulfport Chief Alan Weatherford said his agency targeted street level dealers "because of the quality of life of our citizens. They are a nuisance in the community and what they're providing as well is potential for death. Prescription drugs being sold on the streets. Our citizens deserve a response from a law enforcement agencies. Certainly we have to go and target the street violators and certainly we will continue to do that. "

Gulfport officers said the drugs brought in from Operation Troll have about a $25,000 street value.

Officers said drug addiction can devastate families.

"The overwhelming majority on the homes that we serve search warrants on for selling drugs on have small children whether it be infants, toddlers or elementary age children in the house," said Sgt. Fore.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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