Drug sweep nets nearly 40 arrests, names to be released soon

1STOCK gray jailbars DRUG ARRESTBy Lynn West

New Albany Gazette

NEW ALBANY – Nearly 40 local residents received an abrupt wake-up call Tuesday as a drug task force led by New Albany police made a series of surprise arrests starting about 4:30 a.m.

Chief Chris Robertson said the sweep, dubbed “Operation Fish Net,” was the culmination of eight months’ investigation. The result was 48 individuals’ being indicted by the Union County grand jury April 15 and 16.

Robertson said the indictments were all for sale of narcotics.

“It ranges from prescription drugs to coke to meth to marijuana,” the chief said. “Most of the defendants will face multiple counts for sale of Schedule I, II and II narcotics.”

Approximately 40 of those indicted had Union County addresses listed while 10 live in other counties.

The operation began about 4 a.m. with approximately 70 officers from the New Albany Police Department, Union County Sheriff’s Department, U. S. Marshals’ office, Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol, Mississippi Department of Corrections, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, Alcoholic Beverage Control and District Attorney’s office participating.

Robertson expressed thanks to all the agencies involved in the sweep.

“Some of these guys had to get up at 2 in the morning to come over here, and I really appreciate that,” he said.

Robertson said several of those indicted who were considered a higher flight risk were picked up earlier while most of those brought in Tuesday were more moderate risk, although some were repeat offenders and many faced multiple charges.

Those taken into custody were brought directly to the Union County Law Enforcement Center for processing where they were officially informed of charges in the indictments and whether they might be eligible to be freed on bond.

By 6:45 a.m., 36 of the 48 indicted were in custody. “I am really pleased with the result,” the chief said.

“When I took office July 1 I met with narcotics officers Mike Erby and David Robertson and told them if people are selling drugs, I want them caught,” Robertson said. “I don’t care who they are.”

A complete list of those indicted and taken into custody, along with charges, will be released soon.

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