Harriman, Roane County (WVLT) - A seven month undercover operation lands 22 people in jail on drug charges and authorities are looking for more.
A wake up call was given to several Roane county residents but it didn't come from a hotel front desk, rather law enforcement.
"Uh, I don't know. I seriously don't know," James Flemming says while being arrested.
"You don't know why you're here?" McLamb asks.
"No, sir," he replies.
"Our role today is to apprehend those individuals who thought they were going around making money selling dope and nobody paying attention to them. Today, we're going to show them we've been paying attention to them," TBI Special Agent Richard Brogan says.
The roundup was dubbed "Operation Genesis" which lasted for seven months.
"There's a lot of planning, long nights, long days, report writing, analysis of the drugs that are confiscated," says Brogan.
Officers knocked on doors of homes and businesses looking for their suspects, taking one woman from a local bar, but also Brittany Arden who law enforcement says is an honor student at Harriman High School and will also face charges in the drug roundup.
"It involves cocaine, crack cocaine, oxycontin, some other pills like that," Brogan says.
Harriman recently added an extra narcotics officer because the chief says they needed one.
"The reason we did that is we can put more time and effort in doing undercover buys," Harriman Chief Randy Heidle says.
But Operation Genesis involved city, county, and state authorities all working together.
"Some agencies have different resources and it just pulls resources together and let's us basically do the job we're here to do as a combined effort," says Roane County Chief Deputy Tim Phillips.
Most of all, authorities hope this operation sends a message because is won't be their last.
"This is their opportunity to find a different line of work and, if not, the next roundup it might be them," Phillips says.
Arrested in Operation Genesis:
Jose Luis Arriaga
Terry Duane Carpenter
Stanley Louis Dabbs
James Stephen Fleming
William Thomas Wampler IV
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