CHESTER -- An early morning drug sweep across Chester County on Thursday netted a dozen individuals suspected of peddling or possessing illegal drugs, authorities said.
Beginning before dawn, the Chester County Multijurisdictional Drug Unit visited several Chester County neighborhoods housing suspected drug dealers. By 10 a.m., authorities had snagged 12 individuals on drug-related charges, officials said.
"We've got everything from trafficking crack to distributing cocaine, crack and marijuana," Detective Scott Thompson said. "We were responding to some different neighborhood complaints."
Thompson said the sweep was designed to clean up neighborhoods before Christmas.
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The following individuals were arrested and charged Thursday:
• Walter Mills, 24, charged with distributing crack cocaine;
• Kenneth Beavers, 33, charged with distributing crack cocaine;
• George Gore, 23, charged with distributing crack cocaine;
• Keon Blackmon, 18, charged with distributing crack cocaine;
• Joel Hunter, 25, charged with distributing crack cocaine;
• Rodney Dillingham, 24, charged with possession of marijuana;
• Gary Davis, 29, charged with simple possession of marijuana and two counts of possession of crack with the intent to distribute;
• Samuel Lightner, 45, charged with three counts of distributing marijuana;
• Marcus Hill, 28, charged with distributing marijuana;
• Tarachjae Murphy, 22, charged with possession of crack cocaine and distributing marijuana;
• Winslow Gore, 25, charged with distributing crack cocaine; and
• Donald Grier, 54, charged with distributing crack cocaine.
Grier was released Thursday on a $25,000 bond, jail officials said. The other suspects remained in custody at the Chester County Detention Center Thursday evening.
'Calm things down'
Chester County Sheriff Robby Benson said the drug unit, comprised of sheriff's deputies and Chester city police, conducts several large-scale raids each year. He said no large quantities of drugs were seized Thursday.
Last December, Chester County authorities netted 20 suspects and about $4,300 in suspected drug money during a countywide raid called "Operation Sleigh Ride."
"We've found it tends to calm things down for the holidays," Benson said.