The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office hosted a press conference Tuesday announcing drug indictments against 35 individuals.
Putnam County Sheriff Eddie Farris said many of the suspects are classified as repeat offenders between the ages of 18 and 60-years-old.
“We have about 700 to 800 individuals that seem to want to continue to repeat and so for us, we certainly try to go through the court system with them and any kind of rehab that we can do,’ Farris said. “When you start getting into repeat offenders, it’s one of those things to where the individual has to be willing to take that extra step to make that work.”
Farris said the county continues to struggle with a recidivism rate of around 84-percent.
Farris said charges against the individuals range from sale or delivery of marijuana, to sale or delivery of heroin, methamphetamine, oxycodone, and Subutex.
“Opioids seem to be leading the charge in illegal drug use. We’re talking about doctor shopping, pain clinics and individuals going out and selling part of their prescriptions,” Farris said. We find more often than not, the older generation selling part of their scripts in order t pay for some of their bills.”
District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway said the indictments stem from multiple undercover operations involving local police departments and other agencies across Putnam County, including U.S. Marshals.
“I want to thank the drug investigators and law enforcement agencies,” Dunaway said. “We have a unique and tight knit law enforcement community that always comes to each others aid and works together well.”
Local aw enforcement officers arrested at least five of the wanted individuals Tuesday morning. Farris said more arrest will be made.
“The message is we are going to find you and arrest you,” Farris said. “I wish we could tell the media that some of these repeat offenders had decided not to do this kind of activity. The people we are after today are individuals that have chose not to change their lifestyle.”
The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office plans to release additional information about the investigation on Wednesday.