A multi-county drug offensive operation led by the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics has landed over 40 people behind bars.
The joint-operation between local, state and federal authorities targeted Walthall, Lawrence, Jeff Davis, Lincoln, Pike and Copiah County and was the result of an 18-month investigation, and netted 46 alleged offenders.
"I guess one way you could look at it…we're in the business of customer satisfaction, if you're a customer of MBN, we're going to satisfy you with a place in prison," said Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Director John Dowdy. "We had targeted about 60 some odd individuals, we had arrest warrants for the sale of controlled substances."
Early Thursday morning, Mississippi Highway Patrol and MBN SWAT teams geared up to run a pair of high-risk search warrants to kick off the roundup.
"It's the modern age of law enforcement, we hit a couple of houses early, made some arrests, information got out on Facebook," Dowdy said. "These people are like roaches, you turn the light on and they're going to scatter and try to find a dark place to hide."
Dowdy said this particular investigation was significant due to the number of opioids being distributed on the streets throughout the state. During the roundup, agents recovered anything from cocaine, to regular hydrocodone, oxycodone and dilaudid.
"This is just a really clear reminder as we've been talking about this issue," Dowdy said. "That drugs are out there on the street, and the vast majority of the 65 that we had arrest warrants for were for selling prescription medication and primarily opioids."
This is just one of a handful of large-scale operations led by the bureau over the past few weeks.
A two-day saturation detail in the City of Jackson netted 139 arrested, another was conducted in Lee County, Tupelo, and Dowdy said the department will continue to do them across the state.
"Not only are we combatting the methamphetamine, we're starting to see crack cocaine and cocaine popping back up, which we had not seen a lot of in the past, obviously marijuana," Dowdy said. "It's an all-out enforcement effort, and these kinds of collaborative efforts with our local and county partners and other state agencies.
Dowdy said operations like this are something people across the state can get used to.
"We're committed to running a very aggressive enforcement campaign throughout this state, I think today is a clear indicator, if that had not been made clear before, this should be a clear indicator," Dowdy said. "If you're selling drugs on the street, we make a case on you…we're going to put the cuffs on you and you're going to jail."
Dowdy said law enforcement across the state sees an uptick in property crimes when it comes to drug issues.
"People are going and breaking in people's houses, stealing their stuff, taking it, selling it, pawning it whatever to get the money to buy the dope," said Dowdy.
His biggest goal is to not only make the streets safer, but to bring help to areas across the state to counties that are fighting the war on drugs.
"We're working our tails off to try to make Mississippi a safer place for its citizens," said Dowdy.
All of the suspects were processed and booked into the Lawrence County Jail, where they will await their initial appearance. The names and charges will be released at a later time according to MBN.