‘Operation Sundown’ aims to shut down suspect meth dealers, suppliers

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CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL)- Tuesday afternoon law enforcement officials in Carter County and the District Attorney’s Office announced dozens of arrests in what they are calling ‘Operation Sundown.’

Carter County law enforcement has set a new standard on how they will pursue drug dealers through computer use.

A joint drug operation has resulted in more than fifty arrests in a year-long methamphetamine operation.

Law enforcement in Carter County and Elizabethton joined the district attorney’s office to announce dozens of arrests in what they are calling Operation: Sundown, on Tuesday.

Carter County officials have been using this joint task force system for a couple of years now. Of the 44 that have been indicted for selling methamphetamine, only six are still at large.

“We are tired of the availablitity of methamphetamine in our community and we’re trying to do our part to disrupt the supply,” Elizabethton Police Chief Jason Shaw said.

LIVE: The Carter County Sheriff's Office is holding a press conference regarding a recent drug investigation.

Posted by WJHL on Tuesday, August 27, 2019

“Centralize all the intelligence, arrest reports, tips that we get,” district attorney for the first judicial district Kenneth Baldwin said.

All of this is being collected on a database for analyzing at a later date.

“You can visualize hundreds of reports instead of just going through each report mentally. You can project a picture on the screen to show how all of these reports are interconnected,” Baldwin said.

This will then allow law enforcement to find and charge those who sell or distribute drugs like methamphetamine.

Baldwin explained, “The minimum sentence is fifteen years and it is not probatable.”

The teamwork has led to 52 arrests in the year-long operation. The suspects are accused of conspiracy to sell or deliver meth, along with other charges.

“We’re trying to do this to not only address the drug problem but also alleviate all the crime that stems from all this drug activity,” Baldwin said.

Because the system has been so successful, Carter County law enforcement agencies plan to work with neighboring counties to ensure every drug dealer is off the street.

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