The Putnam County Sheriff’s Department has made over a dozen arrests this week as part of the closing stages of “Operation Omega.”
The Sheriffs Department conducted the year-long drug investigation in the western part of the county near the Jackson County border. Sheriff Eddie Farris said numerous tips from residents in that area led to the focus.
“We’ve had a lot of complaints, and people calling in and talking to me,” Farris said. “We’ve noticed we had some houses down there in that area with a lot of drug activity. So, we just wanted to focus in that one specific area for this particular investigation.”
Farris said the operation was conducted by officers both uniformed and working undercover. Many of those arrested were repeat offenders. Farris said this type of operation is delicate and takes intense planning.
“We have some of our best deputies and best investigators obviously in those roles conducting those manners,” Farris said. “I don’t have to tell you this, but when you’re in those kind of roles credibility in doing this type of work and as it goes to court credibility is of the upmost importance and stressed.”
Farris said arrest warrants were issued on November 28 and as of now 16 people have been arrested with more arrests expected in the coming days. Farris said many of those arrested are heavily involved with the drug world.
“It’s not like somebody chose one time to do something illegal with drugs and we caught them,” Farris said. “Most of these people are constantly doing something illegal with drugs and obviously most of them are drug users. We are not targeting people who are first-time sellers. These people are individuals who have been in the system and of course in the drug world itself.”
Farris said about 85-90 percent of inmates at the Putnam County jail are there for drug-related crimes. He said this is part of the larger drug epidemic that has been made worse by the rise of Fentanyl. He said the overdose rates in the county are also on the rise because of the drug.
“We’re always going to have investigations going on in the illegal drug world,” Farris said. “This is just one of others that are continuing in progress right now as we speak, but yes we were glad to come out and makes some arrests and get some of these people off the street.”