JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — Authorities issued 50 warrants in Johnson County as part of a major sweep that left 29 people behind bars.
Officials say everyone charged is accused of drug dealing. 20 more suspects are still at large. Prosecutors say one suspect died of natural causes before the sweep.
Johnson County Prosecutor Bradley Cooper warned drug users and dealers.
“We don’t hand out needles, we hand out arrest warrants,” he said.
Dozens of mug shots of men and women were on display at the Franklin Police Department Tuesday afternoon. They’re all charged with dealing drugs that range from marijuana to heroin and meth. The sweep, police say, is all part of making the streets safer.
“It’s a good thing. I think, you know, we got all the kids around here. So, we need to clean up the streets,” said Franklin Resident Ashli Conpo.
The round up was a group effort. 250 officers and 20 police dogs from Franklin Police, State Police, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, the Johnson County Prosecutor’s office and the U.S. Marshal’s office all joined forces. It’s part of a year-long investigation.
It started around 5:30 Tuesday morning. The group effort ended that afternoon. However authorities say they will continue to try and track down the remaining suspects.
Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox noted that around half of the suspects are women.
“It just goes to show you how much the drug business is taking over families,” said Cox.
Cooper added, “When drugs are dealt in front of a child, you will see where there are several cases where we have elevated the charges.”
Community members are hoping for this type of effort more often.
“The bad people…the drugs. There was a meth lab just in our circle,” said Franklin resident Jason Cole.
“Once they eliminate all the people that sell drugs and do drugs, it’ll be a more safe community,” said Jones.
Matt Haase wondered what was going on Tuesday morning at his motel.
“Leaving for work there was several different agencies, maybe ten officers here, so it was a little disturbing to leave and see all that,” the Relax Inn customer said.
He later heard the news that several suspected drug dealers were arrested there as part of a large multi-agency sweep.
“I mean I’m just staying here because it’s close by and cheap for work but it’s kind of scary to think that is all going on while you’re here,” he said.
Though Haase wasn’t entirely surprised that his motel was a target for a drug raid.
“To be real honest with you, walking down the hallway, you can smell some things going on too,” he said.
But he said he will continue to stay there in hopes that the drug sweep helped clean up the area.
“It’s a little bit leery but I guess if they’re cracking down on it maybe nothing’s going to happen for a while,” he said.
During the sweep, police made arrests throughout Johnson County as well as Marion County. No injuries were reported. Authorities say the last time there was a raid of this magnitude was back in 2009.