WISE, Va. (WJHL) – Sixty people have been taken into custody in what the Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office is calling a “major drug-related mass arrest operation in Southwest Virginia.”

A release from the office of Commonwealth’s Attorney Brett Hall states that the operation was conducted with the help of state and local authorities throughout Wise County.

According to the release, 60 people were arrested Tuesday by officers and agents after they were indicted by grand juries with “well over 100 charges and 75 indictments for numerous drug-related offenses.” Hall’s office reports an investigation found reason to charge each of the individuals after uncovering illegal drug activity.

The charges stem from alleged illegal activity involving a variety of narcotics, such as suboxone, fentanyl and most commonly methamphetamine. The described “spring cleaning” operation was referred to as “Round 1 of 2023” by the commonwealth’s attorney’s office.

“Methamphetamine is a dangerous, highly addictive drug with scary side effects that has plagued our community for several years. When Meth crimes increase in our area, so does other criminal activity such as theft, breaking and entering, and other violent crimes.  Today’s arrests are a great step toward combatting not only the drug issue in our community, but also reducing these other violent crimes to minimize the pattern of increased violence in Southwest Virginia.  We will continue our efforts by aggressively prosecuting these cases.”

Commonwealth’s Attorney Brett Hall

The commonwealth’s attorney’s office stated that 75% of the charges from the operation involved distributing or possessing methamphetamine.

As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, authorities were reportedly still working to take other individuals into custody.

Wise County Sheriff Grant Kilgore thanked the law enforcement officers involved in the operation in the release. Agencies involved in the operation included the Southwest Virginia Multi-Jurisdictional Narcotics Task Force, Virginia State Police, Norton City Police Department, Coeburn Police Department, St. Paul Police Department, Big Stone Gap Police Department and Wise County Sheriff’s Department.