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Drug Sweep in Vidalia
Sunday, 12 April 2009

April 12--  A five-month long undercover drug investigation led to a pre-dawn drug sweep in Vidalia Friday.

Vidalia police, assisted by officers from other law enforcement agencies, canvassed the city looking for 56 suspects who had allegedly sold drugs to undercover agents since last December.  By Sunday, 44 of the 56 suspects had been taken into custody according to police.

Chief Frank Waits says his goal is to make Vidalia a drug-free zone.  "I want Vidalia to have the reputation that if someone says I want to sell drugs, they're going to say 'Anywhere but Vidalia,'" he says.

Middle Judicial Circuit District Attorney Hayward Altman was on hand Friday morning to lend his support to officers.  He says drugs are the root cause of most crimes these days.  "When you include alcohol, because alcohol is a drug, then I'd say probably 75 to 80 percent of our cases involve drugs of some sort," he estimates.

Drug sweeps of this sort have become a regular occurrence, but Altman says they are important.  "Everybody in our circuit is doing all they can to fight the war on drugs.  I always tell people and grand juries, you win the war on drugs by continuing to fight the war on drugs.  Whenever society quits fighting the war on drugs, that's when we lose.  As long as we're fighting, we're winning," he says.

Chief Waits likens drug dealers to terrorists.  "These people are nothing but terrorists, they're trying to destroy our community and we're not going to let it happen here," he says.

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