UNION, SC (WSPA) – Recent arrests in Union County are now raising concerns about drug activity in the community.
31 people were recently arrested in a six-month undercover operation called Operation Grinch.
These are the faces of accused drug offenders in Union County. For many, Sheriff David Taylor says, crystal meth is their drug of choice.
“Three or four years ago we were finding 17 to 20 meth labs in our county. This year we have found three,” says Sheriff Taylor.
The price of meth is low while demand is still high and, according to the sheriff, some of the supply is being traced to drug cartels in Mexico.
The drug issue is causing a ripple effect throughout the community of 28,000.
Calandra Barrett grew up in Union County and, now as a mom, she hopes her children will see a better community because of Sheriff Taylor’s efforts.
“When I saw the people that were being arrested there were a lot of them that did deserve to be arrested but there were a couple people who got caught up and we’re actually innocent, but I do appreciate the fact that the county is trying to crack down on the drug problem there’s been a drug problem in union for a long time,” says Barrett.
“We’re working with local agencies we’re working with the school district and we here in about children come to school hungry,” says Sheriff Taylor. “The reason a lot of times is because the money is being spent on illegal drugs.”
Many of those arrested are repeat offenders who, according to the Sheriff, shoplift and break into homes to support their habits.
Local industries offer jobs that pay more than minimum wage, However passing the drug test many times becomes an issue.
The sheriff knows that saving all is nearly impossible, but saving one at a time makes the effort worth while.
With more than 80 people behind bars to-date in connection to Operation Grinch, they’ll receive bond and eventually have their day in court.Full gallery of arrests and charges from Operation Grinch: