Operation Summer Camp In Amherst Co.Puts 69 People In Jail
By Katie Brooke
Amherst Co., VA- Summer camp has new meaning right now in Amherst County now that dozens of people have been indicted on drug charges as part of a months-long investigation. The Sheriff's Office has been conducting Operation Summer Camp since December, targeting area drug dealers and distribution. Sixty-nine people will be served on close to 200 charges by Friday. Four of the people face federal charges and will go before the Grand Jury in the coming months. All the people and charges are a huge win for the Sheriff's Office, but the Sheriff says it's sobering because it shows just how large the drug problem in Amherst county really is.For many, it's hard for the the rural county to believe they will have close to seventy people behind bars by Friday."It's crazy, it's just little ole' Amherst. Right here."It's taken investigators a year of following leads and tips."It's a lot of long hours, mostly night-time hours and long days with the guys working these kind of complaints," said Sheriff Jimmy Ayers.It's an investigation Sheriff Jimmy Ayers says has been going on since December 20-13."We're not gonna tolerate it," said the Sheriff.The Sheriff says the drug of choice for the area is cocaine, but they've recently seen other drugs tear apart the community as well."We've seen a lot of heroin coming back into the community and a significant increase in prescription drug usage," said Ayers.Ayers says the two are kinds of drugs are connected because they commonly see a person abusing prescription drugs move on to use heroin."[Drugs like Heroin] are both psychologically and physically addictive, and it makes a total mess out of a person," said Ayers.Folks we talked to in the county are glad the Sheriff's version of summer camp will help keep their neighborhood's safe.Residents say it's a great thing because it gets the streets cleaned up again, and many say they hope that will perhaps stop some of the thieving and stuff that goes on, when drug addicts our out of control and can't afford their habits. "You're not gonna stop it, the only thing you can do is just be as aggressive and as proactive as you can," said Ayers.So far, deterrent is working. ABC 13 asked the Sheriff if thee drugs are being brought into the community or if they are mainly local. Ayers says that as they've made arrests they've heard people say when they ask for drugs from dealers outside of Amherst County they often get the response "we won't cross the river." In the local drug world, that saying means outside drug dealers know not to cross into Amherst County and mess with the Amherst Sheriff's Department.
WSET ABC 13 covers news, sports and weather in the Heart of Virginia: Lynchburg, Danville and Roanoke and nearby communities including Amherst, Lexington, Cave Springs, Blacksburg, Martinsville, Farmville, North Shore, Glasgow, Altavista, Gretna, Chatham, Blairs, Bassett, Rocky Mt, Penhook, Moneta and Buena Vista