HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - After an early Tuesday morning drug round in Laurel, 23 alleged cocaine sellers made their first appearance Wednesday before the Jones County Circuit Court Judge Billy Joe Landrum.
After a 14 month long investigation that led to a drug raid early Tuesday morning, 23 of the alleged drug dealers that were arrested made their first appearance Wednesday before the Jones County Circuit Court Judge Billy Joe Landrum.
Approximately half of the alleged cocaine dealers were denied bail and will be held in jail, while the other half were given a $30,000 signature bond.
"We're dealing with a lot of volume here," said Jones County District Attorney Anthony Buckley. "One thing's for certain though, the streets of Laurel will be a lot quieter this Christmas."
Not only a safer Christmas, but a city with less crime thanks to Laurel Police Department.
"We're just very pleased with today, we're very pleased with the operation," said Laurel Police Department Seargent Michael Reaves. "Our crime stats and our crime rate is down over the last two-in-a-half years to an all time low and we think that these type of operations are a direct result of that."
All suspects pleaded not guilty and were given a plea recommendation. Choosing not to take the recommendation within the next 30 days they can face the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
"If you're out here in our community selling drugs, you're going to see us," said Reaves.