TAZEWELL COUNTY, Va. - A county-wide drug sting in southwest Virginia led to nearly two dozen arrests and several charges in Tazewell County. Click here to see a complete list of those charged and their mugshots.
We caught up with authorities in Tazewell and learned some of the people arrested were familiar faces believed to be selling drugs in the community.
There's an ongoing battle against drugs in Tazewell County, from Pocahontas to Bluefield to Cedar Bluff. "It's everywhere. It not only affects people on drugs, it affects people not on drugs," said resident Christina Hankins.
But a recent sweep through the county by the Drug Task Force nabbed a total of 21 people on various drug charges. "We're working. We've got undercover people working. You can and will get caught," said Sheriff Brian Hieatt.
We learned the top two drugs on the streets in southwest Virginia are Oxycodone and Hydrocodone, two of the drugs found in this four-month investigation.
But another discovery was synthetic marijuana, some of which was being sold at a local business. "Unfortunately we have some individuals and business owners who have saw fit to traffic [synthetic drugs]," said Commonwealth's Attorney Dennis Lee.
Lee says these individuals could face between five to 40 years on each charge.
But officials say what makes this roundup more important was that the task force was able to work their way into smaller communities. "Quite often evidence against the defendant is overwhelming but it is a challenge," added Lee.
While drugs may always be a fight, investigators say tips from the community are instrumental to their success.
Residents say this recent sweep is good news. "I just hope they get the right ones so they can stop it," said resident Debbie Teets.
We've learned two people are still wanted by the Tazewell County Drug Task Force.
- UPDATE: 29-year-old miner suffers several broken bones in Buchanan County
- Dozens disappointed after local legislators a no-show at meeting in Johnson City
- Crews will scale back the search effort for a missing man on South Holston Lake
- Democratic candidate for Virginia Governor discusses improving Southwest Virginia economy
- One person dead in Sunday morning car crash