Year-long drug operation sends 16 people to jail in Marion County
A drug investigation, a year in the making, has landed 16 people in jail.Marion County Sheriff Ronnie 'Bo" Burnett tells Channel 3 that deputies arrested 16 people for various drug and drug-related offenses.
UPDATE: Deputies arrested 16 men and woman in connection to either distributing or manufacturing a controlled substance, Wednesday. Those arrested for part of undercover operations that were conducted by the Marion County Sheriff's Department Narcotics Unit over the past year.
"We are always fighting the drug problem," said Sheriff Ronnie Bo Burnett. "People call me and it's surprising how just one drug house can ruin a neighborhood. They say nothing is being done about it but I tell people you know there are things being done behind the scenes that you don't see and today is the result of that."
The Marion County's Sheriff's Department Narcotics spent a full year undercover, all leading to this day.
"We have a meth problem, you know marijuana is always a problem and now we've got the pill problem."
The Sheriff gave Channel 3 permission to follow. They began at 7:30 a.m. armed and dressed in full gear.
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"We have the element of surprise by hitting them early in the morning," said Sheriff Burnett. "Hitting them like that, there are less problems of them being aggressive towards the officers. "
Sheriff Burnett's men are looking for people messing with meth, crack cocaine, methadone or illegal pain pills.
"You never know what you're getting into."
They take no chances. TBI agents, officers with the 12th Judicial District Drug Task Force, Jasper Police Dept., Kimball and South Pittsburg Police Dept. broke into several teams. They had to move fast before word could spread. While this roundup is over, you can get paid for helping them find others.
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"If you will call us and give us the information and it turns out to be good information, I have reward money to go out for this information," said Sheriff Burnett.
The investigation is ongoing, the Sheriff says you can expect to see even more arrests to be made in the future.
Marion County Sheriff Office deputies arrested 16 people for various drug and drug-related offenses, such as distributing or manufacturing controlled substances including methamphetamine, crack cocaine, methadone, and hydrocodone.
Those arrested as part of the original investigation include:
- Ernest Hampton, South Pittsburg, Sale and delivery of crack cocaine
- April Stewart, Suck Creek Mtn, Sale and delivery of crack cocaine
- Billy Baker, Suck Creek Mtn, Sale and delivery of crack cocaine
- Quanan Hutchinson, South Pittsburg, Sale and delivery of crack cocaine
- AJ Jones, Jasper, Sale and delivery of crack cocaine
- Stephen Dover, Jasper, Sale and delivery of crack cocaine
- Belinda Hollis, Kimball, Sale and delivery of crack cocaine
- Amanda Jones, South Pittsburg, Sale and delivery of crack cocaine
- Lucy West, Sequatchie, Sale and delivery of crack cocaine
- Lisa Pickett, Whitwell, Sale and delivery of methadone
- Robert Shaun White, South Pittsburg, Sale and delivery of hydrocodone
- Ernest Russell Smith, South Pittsburg, Promotion of meth manufacturing
- Jimmy Jones, Jasper, Promotion of meth manufacturing
- Phillip Bice, Jasper, Sale and delivery of hydrocodone
- Kenneth Coffelt, Jasper, Sale and delivery of hydrocodone
- Brandi Duke, South Pittsburg, Promotion of meth manufacturing