Crime

70 suspects charged; drugs, weapons seized in Lancaster Co. ‘Operation Fall Harvest’

Lancaster Co. sheriff talks about months-long drug investigation

Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile talks about the department's "Operation Fall Harvest" drug investigation that led to 130 charges against around 50 people. Drugs and guns were seized. About 20 more arrests are expected for a total of about 70
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Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile talks about the department's "Operation Fall Harvest" drug investigation that led to 130 charges against around 50 people. Drugs and guns were seized. About 20 more arrests are expected for a total of about 70

Seventy people are facing more than 130 charges after a months-long undercover drug operation that ended Wednesday, according to the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.

“Operation Fall Harvest” began in January and ended Wednesday with the arrest of around 50 people, according to authorities.

About 20 suspects still need to be picked up by deputies. The operation targeted various locations around the county, with the help of tips and complaints from residents.

Investigators have served 45 warrants for crack cocaine, 23 for cocaine, 19 for heroin, 29 for marijuana and 30 for controlled substances, Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile said.

Twenty of the charges were for trafficking drugs, 75 were for distribution and nine were firearms charges.

“I just want to let everyone know that drugs and gangs will always be a top priority,” Faile said during a Friday press conference. “When we work these things aggressively, we also see a decline in our larcenies, burglaries, domestic violence and things like that.”

Faile estimated that 75 percent to 80 percent of the suspects arrested are repeat offenders. He attributed the growing number of drug arrests to the growing population in Lancaster County, and said officers have seen an uptick in drug trafficking in Indian Land specifically.

“We want citizens to know if they call and report something, we may not do something that day, but we will start working on it,” Faile said. “We seem to get more firearms off the street each week. When you’ve got people out there dealing drugs, carrying firearms and already a convicted felon, that’s a problem.”

Teddy Kulmala: 803-329-4082, @teddy_kulmala

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