This latest roundup — announced Thursday morning by Commonwealth’s Attorney H. Fuller Cridlin and Lee County Sheriff Gary Parsons — focuses on methamphetamine, with a majority of the charges having to do with the distribution and possession of the deadly drug.
“Meth has had a devastating impact on our community in recent years,” Parsons said. “It is our number one priority right now. We want as many dealers off the street as possible.”
The investigation began about eight months ago and involved undercover purchases of methamphetamine by confidential informants, Parsons told the Times News on Thursday. Most of those arrested were Lee County residents, with one living in Wise County and another from Tennessee.
All of the drug transactions took place in Lee County.
“Some of these people are pretty significant dealers,” Parsons said. “Meth ... there’s so many people dealing it. We hope to maybe gain some additional information and lead to (other arrests).”
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office is awaiting results from a lab analysis, which could lead to additional arrests and charges.
“This is only one phase of it,” Parsons said.
“This type of operation doesn’t just happen. It requires a lot of planning, preparation and communication between many different agencies on both the investigative side and the prosecution side,” Cridlin said. “Today’s effort is the result of a lot of hard work, but our work is not done and will not be done until each and every one of these defendants if brought to justice.”