Often, drug raids are done early in the morning to catch people off-guard. But early Thursday, Wilson County sheriff's deputies ended up with more than they had bargained for.
First-time offenders and gang members were among the 52 people put behind bars in the raid that started at around 6 a.m.
One-by-one, Wilson County Sheriff's deputies began charging the suspects with illegal drug activity.
"It's tandem to using a spoon to dip water out of a canoe, but you gotta keep going after it," Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe said.
Sheriff Ashe says the arrests are the result of a four-month long undercover operation by his narcotics officers. He's had bigger drug busts in his county, but the shear volume of people being arrested this time makes this one of the largest undercover operations by the Wilson County Sheriff's Department.
"We get some off the street, but always somebody to take their place," Ashe said. "It came to a point this thing was getting so big we finally had to shut it off."
Thursday, agents walked away with cash as well as jars and bags of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
But during the four-month operation, narcotics officers came in contact with people who are known to have gang affiliations.
Officers say Ricky Fenn Junior is a known member of the Crips gang. Clayton B. Nunley is said by officers to be a drug supplier for the Vice Lords gang. Both men were arrested Thursday.
"We got everything from meth to marijuana and schedule one, to schedule six drugs in this roundup," Sheriff Ashe said.
The 52 arrests are just the beginning. There were 84 indictments, and the sheriff says it's just a matter of time before everyone is behind bars.
Ashe says more charges will follow, because he says many of the people arrested or who will be arrested were plying their drug business in the presence of children. So they will also be facing child endangerment charges.
Many of the people arrested Thursday were considered armed and dangerous, and the sheriff's department also plans to seize 16 vehicles.
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