Police cracking down on drug dealers in Columbus

COLUMBUS, IN-- An effort to crack down on drug crime in Columbus and Bartholomew County has led to more than a half dozen arrests of suspected drug dealers. But they're just a few of the hundreds of arrests the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team is making.

Investigators said over the past two weeks, the team arrested 8 people on preliminary charges of dealing heroin or methamphetamine. Some were caught selling to undercover officers.

"These arrests started with just a simple tip from the public that we received last year," Columbus Police Lt. Matt Harris said.

It's tips from the public and work put in from the JNET police said is helping get more dealers off the streets.

"This is the wrong place to be selling narcotics," Harris said. "These 8 arrests should illustrate that."

Police said the JNET worked nearly 200 cases and arrested more than 100 people last year for possessing or distributing drugs in Columbus and Bartholomew County. This year narcotics detectives have arrested more than 30.

"This area does have a high volume of drug traffic," Lisa Pine said.

Pine is one of the leaders of the 9th St. Area Neighborhood Watch. Pine said during their routine litter patrols, they almost always find syringes, but the neighborhood watch and police have helped cut crime.

"I am relieved to get the drug dealers off the streets," Lisa Pine said. "But then there's also just a lot of people with drug addiction problems so how can we solve that problem."

Police said their investigation is ongoing and that there could be more arrests. They encourage the public to call law enforcement with concerns.