Thirty-five people were arrested on felony drug charges Wednesday morning in one of the largest drug sweeps in Perry County history.
Perry County Sheriff William Barker said law enforcement officers had arrest warrants for 43 people, meaning eight people are still at-large.
Everyone who was taken into custody faces felony drug charges, Barker said, a majority of which are trafficking or manufacturing charges. Those arrested were brought to the Perry County Fairgrounds to be processed.
Barker said he could not release the names of those who were arrested until they had been processed. Arraignments are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Monday.
The sweep, code named Operation Buzz Kill, was carried out county-wide and in conjunction with law enforcement agencies from Perry, Muskingum, Hocking, Licking and Fairfield counties, as well as the Central Ohio Drug Enforcement Task Force, Perry County Court, Perry County Prosecutor's Office, Ohio Highway Patrol and U.S. Marshals Office.
The operation began at 6 a.m. on Wednesday.
Pete Tobin, U.S. marshal for the Southern District of Ohio, said while officers did not bring in everyone they were seeking, 35 arrests out of a goal of 43 was still an impressive accomplishment.
"It is one of the most successful drug sweeps I've ever been part of," Tobin said.
Perry County Judge Dean Wilson assisted with the processing and assigned bonds to those in custody. Wilson said the court system can only be effective against crime through a combined effort from law enforcement agencies.
Investigations like Operation Buzz Kill wouldn't be possible without cooperation across the region.
"Thus far, it's worked without a hitch," Wilson said.
Barker said the majority of arrests were performed at the individual's homes. Many of them, he said, were still sleeping. Of those taken into custody, three were in possession of methamphetamine.
Barker said he wanted this sweep to be a message to drug traffickers in Perry County.
"Go somewhere else and deal your dope," he said. "Can I make it any clearer than that?"
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