Giles Police Bust 50 Alleged Drug Dealers - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Giles Police Bust 50 Alleged Drug Dealers but Worry Meth Could be on the Rise

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Police officers from West Virginia and Virginia arrested 50 alleged drug dealers in Giles County over the weekend.

Giles County Sheriff Morgan Millirons says it took seven months and hundreds of man hours to finally put them in handcuffs. It was a victory for law enforcement.

"Like a celebration," Millirons said. " At the end of a long, dragging out investigation."

With 120 charges total, Millirons says that taking 50 alleged drug dealers off the street is a great accomplishment, but it isn't enough.

Millirons says for every drug dealer arrested, two more are waiting to take their place.

He says that a lot of the prescription pain pills are coming from Monroe County. Fourteen people who were arrested this weekend are from Monroe County.

He also says that several dealers in Giles buy from Florida, a state where lax laws allows users to go doctor shopping much easier.

Millirons says the drug of choice in Giles has shifted over the past decade. Nine out of 10 charges in the round-up are for pills. Millirons calls it an epidemic.

"It used to be that marijuana was the popular drug," Millirons said. "We are not seeing marijuana like we used to. There for a while we were seeing cocaine, some of your harder drugs. The problem in Giles County is prescription medication."

As police work tirelessly to keep prescription pills off the streets, they say they worry they are going to see a spike in meth, a drug that's easier to get a hold of and cheaper to make.

Often referred to as "poor-man's crack," meth is a homemade concoction of household cleaners and other toxic substances.

"I am worried that we could have a meth problem in Giles County," Millirons says. "We have made arrests for possession of crystal meth. We have made arrests on manufacturing crystal meth."

Millirons says that police have found labs in homes, trailers, campers and even vehicles.

Just one year ago police dealt with a dangerous meth lab explosion.

So if its true that when a door closes, a window opens, police say that the next threat - meth - could be even worse.

"How many hundreds of people could be in danger?" Millirons wondered.

Two arrests were made in the round-up this weekend over meth labs that were found.

So for now the department is focusing on cleaning up the prescription problem, hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.