DICKENSON COUNTY, Va. - One Southwest Virginia Sheriff tells us the drug problem across our region is becoming an epidemic that leads to other crimes.
The Dickenson County Sheriff's Office spent Friday rounding up 40 people wanted for drug charges; at last check, 25 of the 40 were in custody.
Friday's beautiful day turned dark for some people in Dickenson County, Virginia as they were greeted with deputies and handcuffs. "The drug problem is ramped in this area and there have been a lot of lives lost," says Joyel Mullins.
Mullins has lived in Dickenson County his entire life. He tells us the one thing that bothers him most are the children there who grow up around drugs. "You're not going to find too many stable homes with drugs mixed into it," he said.
That's why the Dickenson County Sheriff's Office conducted an 18-month long investigation that produced 40 indictments and more than 100 charges. "We're dealing with it as best we can with what resources we have, and we will continue," adds Sheriff Bobby Hammons.
Hammons tells us most of the suspects are facing multiple counts for distribution along with other charges like manufacturing marijuana and distributing cocaine. "Prescription drug abuse seems to be the number one issue or problem," he said.
Sheriff Hammons tells us they received some information from confidential informant, and others have actually sold drugs to undercover officers.
We learned deputies conduct long investigations to make sure they have enough evidence for court. "We cross every T, dot every I. You've got to make everything that will stand up in court and get a conviction on this," says Sheriff Hammons.
Meanwhile Joyle Mullins tells us he stands behind the sheriff and his officers 100 percent. "Every effort that they can put forth to prevent drug use or keep it from spreading, I think it's well worth it," he said.
Hammons tells us it will take a couple of days to round all of the suspects up and arresting these suspects will keep other crimes from happening to you like robberies and burglaries.
If you see anything that looks like drug activity contact the Dickenson County Sheriff's Office at (276) 926-1602.