George County drug round-up nets suspected dealers



George County’s undercover Operation Cold Snap hit suspected street level drug dealers by surprise at sunrise.

“I think it is important to get them and get them into custody before the word gets out,” Investigator Tony Keel said.

By 6a.m. Thursday, the George County Sheriff’s Department and law enforcers from agencies along the coast, raided homes to round-up 33 suspects.  Law enforcers say the men and women sold cocaine, meth, and illegal prescription drugs to undercover agents during a three month investigation.  

“Most of half of these arrests are going to prescription drugs like Lortabs, Zanax, Adderal,” George County Sheriff Gary Welford said.

The sheriff’s department said so far this year, about 120 people have been arrested on drug charges. The number doesn’t include the suspects arrested in Thursday’s round-up. Deputies say the drug problem is disturbing.

“It is a problem. I never said we didn’t have a drug problem; we try to deal with it as best we can. We are not different, we are not unique than any other county,” Welford said.

This is Sheriff Gary Welford’s first county-wide drug sting operation, and he promises more will follow.

Drug agents also seized a meth lab and guns during the round-up. The suspects are expected to have their initial appearance in court Friday.

By Patrice Clark

WLOX- ch 13


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