- Associated Press - Friday, March 10, 2017

LUCEDALE, Miss. (AP) - More than a dozen people in south Mississippi have been arrested following a sting operation aimed at taking down drug dealers who sell prescription painkillers and high-grade meth known as ice.

Local news outlets report that George County deputies teamed up with Lucedale police and the newly created South Mississippi Narcotics Task Force to round up the suspects Thursday morning.

George County Sheriff Keith Havard says that by noon, authorities had 18 suspects in custody, many of whom are known gang members.

Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Director John Dowdy says the undercover operation followed a six-month investigation.

Most of the suspects face drug distribution charges. Some are charged with drug possession.

Havard says his department still has 23 arrest warrants out.

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