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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's being called the largest one-day drug crackdown in the history of the Kentucky State Police.
Troopers have rounded up 479 drug suspects across the state to face 774 charges during Operation Black Friday. The arrests began before daybreak.
State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer the roundup was the result of tips, including those from a mother whose son is a drug addict. Brewer said those tips led to the arrest of the alleged drug dealer who had been selling to her son. "Today, I can say to all of you who have made this same plea – we hear you. We have not forgotten about you and more importantly, we are locating these individuals and making these much needed arrests," Brewer said.
Brewer said many of those arrested are what state police call "low-level" offenders, usually people who buy drugs.
"Citizens are tired of perpetual offenders who are disrupting neighborhoods and participating in other criminal mischief," Brewer said. He added that with those arrests, police hope to gain information that will lead to dealers being arrested.
The charges stem from drugs like marijuana, meth and prescriptions but today's raid also highlights a new and growing epidemic in Kentucky.
"We are seeing a shift to Heroin and the reason for that quite simply is because we've cracked down so hard on pill mills," Brewer explained.
KSP says its arrest data shows a 200% increase in Heroin related arrests since last year. Most of the 800 charges are felonies; some of the suspects will face charges in federal court.
He also encouraged more tips from the public about drug activity and suspicious behavior: "We provide multiple avenues for people to anonymously report information, including a toll free tip-line 1-(800) DOPE TIP and the ‘Text-A-Tip' program," said Brewer.