Operation Black Friday
Elvis Presley’s ‘Blue Christmas’ blared throughout the front office of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept. early Friday morning as Operation Black Friday, a round up of alleged area drug dealers, took place.
Offenders were led in one after another in handcuffs to hear the charges ‘ along with Christmas music ‘ from their arrest warrants before being escorted to jail.
‘As I speak, 25 individuals are being hunted down and taken into custody,’ Sheriff Rodney (Rod) Seelye said Friday morning. ‘This began with the (idea) that our citizens deserve a safe place to work, play and live.’
Seelye said the round up was the sixth in as many years.
‘We have taken into custody over 120 drug dealers with nearly 100 percent conviction rate,’ he said. ‘During the same time frame, we’ve seized almost $300,000 from drug dealers. I want our citizens to know that they have highly-trained uniformed investigators who are second to none.
‘To drug dealers who are thinking about opening up shop in our county, you may want to think again,’ Seelye continued. ‘We will be standing guard, and justice will find you. The tip of our spear can reach farther than any place you can hide.’
Seelye said drug use fuels other crimes and the department takes a great deal of pride in combating drugs in the community.
He said opioids are a big problem in Harrison County and methamphetamine is going to make a big comeback.
Three-fourths of those arrested or targeted in the Black Friday operation dealt with meth, he said.
Seelye said the round ups have had a very big effect within the community, especially within the criminal element.
He said, through taped conversations, they’ve heard drug dealers say there’s no way they’re coming to Harrison County.
‘It’s an uncomfortable place to be,’ Seelye said.
Officers began Operation Black Friday in the early morning hours Friday, splitting up arrest warrants before heading out to serve them.
Seelye said the drug dealers are often up all night but can usually be caught at home around five or six o’clock in the morning.
The initial wave brought in 12 suspected dealers with no incident.
As for the remaining suspects, Seelye said his officers will be persistent.
‘Unless they move to the north pole, we’ll get ’em,’ he said.
Two more offenders were arrested later in the day Friday. As of yesterday morning (Tuesday), the total still stood at 14.
Charges on many of the offenders ‘ ranging from dealing methamphetamine to maintaining a common nuisance ‘ can be found in this week’s Court news (see page A11).