Dozens arrested in Claiborne County drug round up

By: Kate Burgess Email
By: Kate Burgess Email

CLAIBORNE COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The sheriff's department split into teams and started surprising people at their homes early Friday morning, arresting them for everything from selling pills to growing pot.

They never used their sirens, and they didn't turn on their lights. In fact, the detectives were silent until they surrounded each house.

It's part of a strategy. Sheriff David Ray said, "We do go at the proper time to surprise them and catch them off and of course we try to keep it as secretly as we can."

This, after the grand jury handed down 66 sealed indictments, all from evidence collected during an undercover buying operation over that last year, targeting dealers and especially out of state sources. "They don't understand plain english. Continue to do your drugs, sell illegal drugs, and we will catch you," Sheriff Ray added.

And this is just the beginning. "There are many, many more to come from this covert operation," said the sheriff. "It's just that our jail is so crowded, that we have to take 50 or 60 at a time."

More than half of their targets are already in custody at the jail, and the sheriff said they plan on bringing in the rest over the next few weeks.

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