What You Need To Know . . .
Seven Johnson Countians arrested in huge state and federal meth roundup

Law enforcement from Johnson County recently participated in an endeavor that encompassed both state and federal representatives in an eight agency law enforcement roundup of both dealers and producers of methamphetamine known was Operation Salt Vegas. There is no significance to the name of the operation chosen by federal agents. The investigation centered on two separate methamphetamine organizations in both southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee. Thirty-two arrests were made, including seven from Johnson County.

According to Johnson County Sheriff Mike Reece, at 4:00 am on Wednesday morning, April 16, 2014, 80 agents from as far away as Miami, Florida, Texas, Virginia and Washington, DC were among those who formed multiple teams that participated in Operation Salt Vegas. Locally, law enforcement from Russell, Smyth and Washington counties in Virginia, as well as Carter and Johnson counties in Tennessee participated in the sting, along with the Virginia State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

The multi-agency investigation on what Reece referred to as “the big players” began in 2011. “This is organized crime,” Reece said. According to Reece, investigations of this kind are often lengthy. The sheriff’s department receives calls reporting heavy traffic at various residences and Reece realizes citizens become frustrated when they don’t see the sheriff or deputies immediately come out to investigate. According to Reece, the department may be well aware of the situation and have been watching the property for a while while conducting an investigation. “It’s a lot of work,” he said. More...

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