LUDOWICI -- On Sept. 16, the Long County Sheriff's Department and the Long/Liberty MACE Drug Task Force arrested 15 alleged drug dealers.
Research for the undercover operation began in February when agents and deputies began canvassing Long County, bringing in suspects who were charged with selling cocaine and marijuana.
According to MACE Commander Al Cato, the operation was organized after several citizens complained of drug activities throughout Long County. The majority
of the arrests were made in the Sand Hill area of the county.
The operation began at
5 a.m. with a mandatory briefing, followed by a plan of action. The first arrest was made at around 5:30 a.m. and the day concluded at 4 p.m.
During the operation, approximately 35 grams of marijuana, 3 grams of cocaine, 1 ecstasy pill, and some Schedule III pills were confiscated. In addition to the drugs, two guns and $1,273 were confiscated.
According to Cato, 75 percent of the people who are arrested on drug charges are repeat offenders, either on probation-violation charges or prior drug-related crimes.
The commander said the total dedicated time to making the 15 arrests came to 59 man-hours.
"We've been having a lot of success with citizens calling in information leading to the arrests of people selling drug," Cato said.
LCSD Sheriff Cecil Noble said, "We work well with the MACE Team, and we support them in any way that we can."
"Today was a great day, and we did put a dent in the drug use," Nobles said. "Unfortunately, the drugs will sprout right back out soon enough."
Cato said that there is a 24-hour a day MACE telephone line (912-877-4040), for information regarding illegal drugs and he urges anyone with any information to call.
"People can call with any information, and they don't have to give us their name or any personal information," Cato said. "People can call that number, or they can call the LCSD or any local sheriff's or police department."