DEA working to tackle drug threat in Johnson City and surrounding areas


The United States Drug Enforcment Administration has arrested 24 individuals in Johnson City in just the past couple weeks on drug charges.

There have been 133 drug related arrests in Johnson City since July 2018. 

The DEA put out a statement saying that they are working hard to tackle the rising drug threat in Johnson City and the surrounding areas. Brett Pritts, the DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge for Tennessee says that a lot of the drug traffickers are from the area but are getting the drugs from other states like Georgia and even across the boarder. 

“The DEA is global. We’re just not in Johnson City or throughout Tennessee. We have offices throughout the world and we have agents working 24/7 that maybe we can connect the dots that are happening in Johnson City to a Mexican Cartel and actually have an effect on that as well,” said Pritts.

From 2017 to 2018 Pritts says the number of drug arrests have doubled. He says that the two drugs he sees the most are Methamphetamine and Fentanyl. Pritts telling News Channel 11 that Fentanyl is being put into a pill form and being sold as substances like Oxycodone. 

“Fentanyl is lethal. It has caused more deaths and has caused more disruption to families than any drug in my time with the DEA and people should be aware of it. With fentanyl, there is first responder precautions that need to be taken. Just because, just a small granular part of fentanyl can be lethal. All our first responders are trained to have life saving narcan with them as well as they seek different training to make sure that their safe as well. Cause there is a high threat when dealing with this,” said Pritts.

Pritts said that the DEA is working with Elizabethton, Johnson City, and Kingsport Police Departments, along with Cocke County and Washington County Sheriff’s departments, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, and the TBI. The DEA has Task Enforce Officers within the different departments.

If you think that Drug Trafficking is happening in your area call the DEA’s Johnson City Office

Official DEA press release below.

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