Campbell County Bust Nets 27 Suspected Drug Dealers

Altavista, VA - A pair of Central Virginia law enforcement agencies put a big dent in the local war on drugs.

More than two dozen suspected drug dealers are behind bars after a drug round-up on September 13 between the Altavista Police Department and Campbell County Sheriff's Office.

They announced the arrests at a joint news conference Monday. They took property, firearms, cocaine, and marijuana off the streets. But Altavista's police chief knows -- for every suspect they arrest, another will take his or her place.

Altavista is a small town fighting a big city problem.

"This area can be the source of a hub due to being right off of Route 29," Police Chief Clay Hamilton said, referring to drug trafficking.

"Drugs and guns and violence all run hand-in-hand," added Maj. LT Guthrie with the Campbell County Sheriff's Office.

So Thursday night, 20 law enforcement officers spent roughly nine hours with one goal in mind: serve 112 felony indictments and take 28 drug trafficking offenders into custody.

So far 27 of those 28 suspects are behind bars -- proof that the partnership between the sheriff's office and police department is paying off.

"By working together we're able to number one, pool our resources. And number two, work together after the same targets," explained Guthrie.

It isn't just the suspects who are in custody. Officials say 23 vehicles and two motorcycles are under constant 24 hour surveillance.

All the property seized in the raid will go to what's called an asset forfeiture fund. So police will fight the drug trade with cars allegedly used to promote it.

There are already plans for a dodge magnum.

"It's got a nice place back here for Ice, our narcotics dog," said Hamilton said, pointing to the dark blue vehicle.

He says all of it is courtesy of your local drug offender.

Police are still looking for one suspect: Victor Taylor, of Hurt, who is wanted for allegedly distributing cocaine.

The Altavista police chief says another drug crackdown is already planned for the near future.