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CORYDON, Ind. (WDRB) -- More than a dozen drug suspects are off the street after an early morning drug sweep in Harrison County.
Police started rounding up the suspects at 5 a.m. Police were looking to arrest a total of 24 suspects but ended up taking 17 into custody on various drug charges.
The arrests were the culmination of a months-long investigation called Operation NASTI (Narcotics Apprehension and Supervision Through Intervention). The suspects were targeted after undercover officers bought heroin, meth and illegal prescription pills during the investigation.
We rode along with Narcotics Specialist Deputy Gary Gilley, one of 30 officers involved in the sweep. He says knocking on doors in the wee hours of the morning to take people to jail is a risky proposition.
"Anytime you deal with drugs, it's dangerous just because of the situation these people live in," Gilley said. "Most have weapons, most steal from each other and rob each other -- yes, that's very dangerous."
Most of the suspects are facing serious time -- some at least 20 years.
That's because police were gong after 24 repeat offenders -- convicted drug dealers who have already served time for drugs.
Three deputies entered one home before dawn and checked for an active meth lab.
A short time later they came out with a suspect in handcuffs.
When asked if he had been making meth, the suspect -- Stanley Flannery -- replied: "No sir, I learned my lesson the last time."
Flannery went on to say that "the last time" was in 2000 when "a judge told me it was the rest of my life if you come in front of me for anything and I believed him."
Flannery wouldn't let the officer search his home, but he was arrested and charged with selling morphine to an undercover officer.
Gilley says drugs are a growing problem in Harrison County.
"We're trying to intervene," Gilley said. "Ninety percent of our crime in Harrison county is drug- related, and 17 of 24 people off the street is a pretty good start."
It's all in a day's work for deputy Gilley.
"Nobody's hurt and we have the bad guys in custody," Gilley said. "This is perfect."