KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- "If they really start cracking down then this will be a much safer area for our kids and just for everybody."
Melissa Burton is a mom and a lifelong resident of Morristown. She doesn't want to see any kind of drugs in her community.
"I think there's probably a whole lot more you know that need to be arrested and I think that if they really crack down on people it'll definitely send the right message and I think they definitely have today."
That message, delivered today after a multi-state, multi-agency investigation arrested 32 people on 103 separate charges. Authorities say illegal drugs were smuggled from Mexico to Atlanta and then up to Morristown, where crack cocaine was distributed throughout East Tennessee. The ringleader, believed to be Andrew Montgomery, in and out of jail since 2001. And with Morristown and Atlanta addresses.
"A lot of major distribution in this particular case were transient in nature. They would come here, set-up distribution through the street level folks. Stay here a few weeks and then leave and come back making it much more difficult to target them," Morristown Chief of Police Roger Overholt told WVLT.
WVLT asked "Did you have people working in Mexico? I can't comment about any particulars of this case right now," said United States Attorney Russ Dedrick.
Fewer illegal drugs on the street will also mean less crime overall. The FBI says drug trafficking is related to nearly 80-percent of shootings, armed robberies and assaults made by those addicted.
"People on drugs are dangerous, they're scary and they're just an accident waiting to happen so less drugs is awesome for my kids and for my family," Burton, said.
"I think it's a good thing. I hope they can do it more, make more arrests," said Allen Lamb of Morristown.
MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Twenty-one of 32 people arrested in connection with an international drug ring stretching from Mexico to East Tennessee have Morristown addresses, according to the federal prosecutors.
Prosecutors say the crack cocaine pipeline was fed from Mexico and went through Atlanta and into Morristown.
The 32 suspects are facing a 103 count indictment that includes drug conspiracy, drug trafficking and weapons charges.
Prosecutors tell Volunteer TV's Mark Edwards in Morristown that the federal investigation began in February 2006 and ended with an July 14, 2009 indictment.
Here are the mugshots of most of the 32 suspects: