BUTLER CO., AL (WSFA) - Months of undercover police work came to a head in Butler County Friday leading to the takedown of several suspected drug dealers.
Four men and three women are now facing charges after a series of busts unfolded in Georgiana.
Members of the 2nd Judicial Drug Task Force have been building their case over the past eight months, doing surveillance and undercover drug purchases in the Butler County town.
Around 4 a.m., officers and deputies raided the home of one of the suspected drug dealers, 23-year-old Jerome Calhoun, at a local trailer park on Washington Avenue in Georgiana. Calhoun was arrested without incident and as police executed the search warrant at his house, officials say officers recovered drugs, pills and firearms. A woman was also arrested at the location on unrelated warrants out of Lowndes County.
As that was happening, other agents went around Georgiana arresting the rest of the people undercover officers bought drugs from over the past several months.
Darren Stallworth, 28, was arrested, along with Myron Mobley, 29; Willie Mobley, 56; Laquisha Eady, 37; Kisha Hartley, 33; and Sherry Rhodes, 39. They are all charged with Distribution of a Controlled Substance.
Jerome Calhoun is also charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance.
Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden says the suspects have been dealing marijuana, crack cocaine and prescription pills on the streets of Georgiana and people who live there have had enough.
“We had several people to call, residents that live there, and complain about the drug activity in Georgiana and wanted something done about it so we got to work,” the sheriff said.
He indicated that those busted in the sting operation are not believed to be connected to each other, but were each busy working to sell different types of drugs.
As news of the arrests spread around the area, many residents were glad to hear about the efforts to clean up the streets.
“Good. Maybe they can catch all of them,” one man said.
“I think it will be a big help,” added another.
By fighting the illegal drug trade, authorities say they're also fighting other crimes.
“We work hard against drugs. If you cut down on your drug issues in the county then you cut down on crime. Drugs play a big role in the thefts and the burglaries that we have so if we cut down on the drug problems, then we cut down on those crimes,” Sheriff Harden said. “If you're out there selling drugs in Butler County, then your days are numbered because we're going to be looking for you.”
In addition to drugs, the Drug Task Force seized cars, four wheelers and guns Friday.
“The vehicles that we got, they sold out of those vehicles,” Harden added. “I think it will be quiet for a while now and we're going to continue to work on it not just in Georgiana but all over Butler County.”
He told WSFA 12 News more arrests are expected stemming from the investigation.
Members of the Butler County Sheriff's Office, Greenville Police Department, Butler County District Attorney's Office and McKenzie Police Department took part in the operation.