Forty people were taken into custody Friday during a drug round-up in Montgomery County.
Officers from the sheriff’s office, Christiansburg police, Blacksburg police, U.S. Marshals and the New River Valley Drug Task Force spent Friday in search of 63 people who together have racked up more than 120 drug charges. The sheriff’s office said it tries to do roundups after each grand jury session in Montgomery County, so they end up doing them several times a year.
This time around, there were around 120 drug charges represented in warrants. It’s one of the largest round-ups for that department in recent years.
After the roundup, five more contacted police saying they will turn themselves in.
Officers said the operation took planning, teamwork and an understanding of what they would be up against. Chief deputy Robbie Hall has been a police officer for more than 30 years and he said these types of roundups have drastically changed.
Chief Hall explained, “when I first started, marijuana was probably the most common. Now you’re seeing the harder drugs.”
Friday’s round-up reinforced the belief that police officers are seeing more methamphetamine in southwest Virginia than ever before. They also see what happens when meth goes wrong. This concern was echoed by Senator Tim Kaine, who came to the New River Valley to talk about drug abuse with law enforcement, judges, prosecutors and health professionals.
“This is not a respecter of region or party or social class or race or anything. It’s Vermont to California, and it’s all parts of the commonwealth,” Sen. Kaine said.
That’s why Kaine said he believes the fight against drugs will require all hands on deck.
“You can’t just say that this is a law enforcement problem. You’ve got to have law enforcement, mental health professionals. I want to get folks ideas here for what strategies they see that are working and how we can be helpful,” Sen. Kaine said.
Deputies said they also notice a trend after drug round-up. Other types of crimes, like larceny, decrease for several months after a round-up happens.
The Sheriff’s Office said it still holds active warrants/indictments on the following individuals:
- Kerry Steven Caldwell
- Christopher Joseph Hall
- Henry Shannon Smith
- Stacy Nicole Edwards
Anyone with information about where they may be is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (540) 382-2951.