TAZEWELL COUNTY, Va. - It's a summertime sting rounding up dozens of people. They're being nabbed in a county-wide drug bust that's already led to dozens of arrests on lots of different charges.
This investigation has been going on for the last six to twelve months. Prosecutors and officers were looking for people suspected on a variety of charges involving legal and illegal drugs.
Folks in parts of Tazewell County may be sleeping a little easier after a sweep of suspected drug users. Police say 47 people were caught by undercover officers buying, selling, or using drugs all over Tazewell County. "Basically when our officers go out they don't try to buy any particular drug, they go out and buy what's on the street," said Dennis Lee, Commonwealth's Attorney for Tazewell County.
Those drugs on the street range from methamphetamine, to oxymorphone, to other prescription pills. But there's one in particular that's alarming. "The first time I know of in the history of Tazewell County, we had some arrests for distribution of heroin," said Lee.
Lee says collectively these people are facing a total of 138 charges involving drugs and other crimes, "Some of these individuals are addicts who are selling pills to keep high themselves, and there are some who are in it for business," he said.
Lee says those are the people causing the most harm to the community. Sheriff Brian Hieatt says by making these arrests this is actually a chance to stop other problems caused by drugs. "If we keep making these arrests and stop these people from selling then you don't have anything for the people to steal to get money to buy them," added Sheriff Hieatt.
There are two main sources in this drug roundup, tips came from both police patrolling the streets to people in the community. While a majority have been arrested officers are still looking for some, which comes with a word of warning. "If you're still trying to buy from people we're looking for then you're going to get caught right with them," added Sheriff Hieatt.
News 5 learned this investigation is not over since the Tazewell Drug Task Force is trying to roundup all those suspected of crimes. They also say officers are seeing a big problem with synthetic drugs, like bath salts and synthetic marijuana.