45 of 70 suspects arrested so far in Newberry drug bust

NEWBERRY COUNTY, SC (WACH) - An investigation that has taken more than a year to conduct culminated Thursday in a sweeping round up throughout Newberry County.

More than 100 law enforcement officers from over a dozen agencies united this week seeking 72 suspects on numerous warrants.

The charges included Distribution of Crack Cocaine, Distribution of Marijuana, Distribution of a Controlled Substance, Distribution of Heroin, Attempt to Possess A Controlled Substance, and Distribution of Methamphetamine.

â??Drugs are the root cause of much of the crime we experience,â?? said Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster. â??Those addicted to these drugs will do anything to get more drugs. They steal from their family, destroy their family, and the move into theft, burglary, and robbery to satisfy their desire for more drugs.â??

â??Anyone who would like to say drugs are a victimless crime should spend some time with law enforcement,â?? Foster said. â??Let us show you shattered families, victims who no longer feel safe in their home, and people afraid to go back out into public because they were victimized by someone ultimately seeking drugs, and then tell us it is a victimless crime.â??

â??Newberry County is a safer place tonight thanks to the hard work and dedication of the many area law enforcement officers who participated in todayâ??s roundup, said Newberry Police Chief Dennis Brown. â??I am very proud of the exceptional effort by all officers. Illegal narcotics can often be the root of many different criminal activities and causes pain in the lives of so many. Those of us who work in law enforcement need every resident to help stop this activity by taking back your streets through neighborhood watches and calling in tips.â??

Authorities say that many of these investigations are launched from complaints within the community. Citizens see suspicious activity, crowds, or gunshots or experience theft from drug us and complain. â??These complaints are vital to us, said Sheriff Foster. â??Concerned citizens are additional sets of eyes and ears in the community and our cooperation are what makes Newberry County both safe and a great place.â??

â??We have worked very hard to identify and catch people who use or sell illegal drugs,â?? said Whitmire Police Chief Jeremiah Sinclair. â??Sometimes people do not see anything happening and they think we are not working but it just takes time to make a good drug case that will be prosecutable in court. The level of evidence needed in todayâ??s courts is extremely high, and we want to make sure not to just get an arrest, but a conviction.â??

Those charged with Attempting Possess a Controlled Substance are those attempting to obtain Sudafed or other items used in the making of Meth. Not only is meth a terrible drug, but these labs are extremely volatile and environmentally dangerous to those in the immediate area.

Thus far 45 of the suspects are in custody. More arrests are expected as this operation continues throughout the weekend and into next week.

Authorities said the investigation will continue and additional suspects and charges are expected to be made in the future.

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