Etowah drug roundup nets more a dozen arrests - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Etowah drug roundup nets more a dozen arrests

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A drug round-up months in the making put at least a dozen people behind bars in McMinn County.

The Etowah Police Department has been working on the undercover sting for more than a year.

By 1 p.m., they had arrested 12 people with hopes of arresting even more by the end of the day.

The grand jury handed down the indictments yesterday and officers spent all morning rounding up their criminals.

"Here in Etowah, like every community in Tennessee and probably across the United States, there's a big drug problem," Det. Jim Shaw said. "With drug dealers, you think fancy cars and all those things. But really, they don't have a lot of money, they're just selling the dope,"

Detective Jim Shaw with the Etowah Police Department hopes he can fix a big problem by making a few arrests. He's been working 11 months on Wednesday's drug round-up.

Shaw said undercover officers bought illegal substances from nine different people at one apartment complex alone over the past year. Officers from different agencies helped track down the drug dealers Wednesday and caught them by surprise.

There was one arrest for marijuana and two for meth. But Shaw said most of the men and women were busted for pills.

"Pills are one of our biggest problems in this county and right here in Etowah, too, because they're so easily obtained. People get their pills and they sell them."

Etowah's last round-up was in the Spring of 2014 and Shaw had a message to anyone he may have missed this go-around: "If you're in the Etowah City jurisdiction, if I didn't get you today, I'll get you sooner or later."

It could take up to two years to prosecute the cases.

The Etowah Police Department had assistance from the McMinn County Sheriff's Department, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Task Force and Tennessee Probation and Parole.

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