Drug Bust Nets 23 Arrests

Published 2:36 pm Tuesday, October 29, 2013

APPOMATTOX — Twenty-three people have been arrested and charged in connection with the Piedmont Regional Narcotics and Gang Task Force’s first mass arrest operation according to a press release issued, Friday, October 25 by Virginia State Police.

“Since established in March 2013, the Piedmont Regional Narcotics and Gang (PRNG) Task Force conducted its first mass arrest operation in Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward counties. Twenty-three men were taken into custody this week on approximately 100 felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from various task force investigations. The majority of the offenses are related to marijuana, cocaine and prescription drug possession and distribution charges,” cites the release.

Ten of the 23 arrested suspects are from Dillwyn and seven are from Farmville, while the remaining suspects are from Cumberland, Rice, Meherrin, Prospect, Burkeville, and Scottsville according to the release.

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“The task force and its partnering agencies hope this extensive arrest operation sends a clear and impactful message to our communities,” Special Agent and Task Force Coordinator G.K. Phillips, Virginia State Police, commented in the release. “Illegal drug and gang-related activity will not be tolerated, and the task force will continue to aggressively pursue, arrest and prosecute those who persist on breaking the law and endangering the safety and well-being of our residents.”

“Basically, we’ve got a guy from each department that’s in the task force. They all work together within the three-county area and the Town of Farmville and Longwood (University) trying to round up the drug dealers and they just follow…wherever the evidence takes them, they go…What we did is, we had a big meeting that morning up at the task force headquarters with…I guess there were 40 people there,” commented Buckingham County Sheriff William “Billy” Kidd.

The PRNG Task Force consists of investigators from the Farmville and Longwood University police departments; and Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward county sheriff’s offices; and the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office, according to the release.

“This week’s extensive operation resulted from the assistance and coordination of the Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward counties’ Commonwealth Attorneys. The Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control, Piedmont Regional Jail and local magistrate offices also provided resources to the initiative,” the release concludes.

Kidd adds that law enforcement officers from each locality were broken up into teams to make the arrests.

“It’s something that’s been sorely needed, just one group of people to concentrate on the drugs. It frees them up. That’s what they concentrate on, and that’s what they’re after. It shows that we’ve had a problem here we’re trying to correct,” the sheriff concluded.