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Scott authorities making progress in 'Shamrock Shakedown' arrests

March 18th, 2014 6:05 pm by Wes Bunch

Scott authorities making progress in 'Shamrock Shakedown' arrests

GATE CITY — Nearly two-thirds of the 59 suspects being sought in Scott County's "Shamrock Shakedown" drug roundup operation were in police custody as of Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

According to the Scott County Sheriff's Office and Scott County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office, officers were able to arrest a total of 33 suspects during the first day of the operation Monday. Another eight individuals were taken into custody Tuesday.

The Scott County Sheriff's Office said more arrests will be made in the coming days.

The indictments of those apprehended during the roundup are expected to be unsealed Thursday morning as suspects are brought to Scott County Circuit Court for arraignment. Sealed indictments are not considered public record.

Operation "Shamrock Shakedown" began Monday after a Scott County grand jury indicted 59 individuals March 13 on a total of 218 drug-related charges.

The SCSO, the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office, the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force and the Virginia State Police participated in the St. Patrick's Day sweep.

Scott County Commonwealth's Attorney Marcus McClung said "Shamrock Shakedown" was one of the largest anti-drug operations carried out in the county.

The largest, Operation Drug Blitz, occurred in 2005 and involved 63 total suspects on 163 charges.

The indictments handed down last week stemmed from more than a year of investigations conducted jointly by the SCSO, the Drug Task Force, VSP special agents and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

McClung said investigators focused their cases on drug dealers "making a substantial profit" from their activities.

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