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Heroin drug bust takes $35K worth of heroin off Amherst County streets

Operation involves 16 people; 12 have been arrested so far

AMHERST, Va. – UPDATE:

Heroin worth of $35,000 is no longer on the streets of Amherst County.

According to the sheriff, 16 people have been indicted for smuggling the drug from New Jersey.

An undercover officer spoke with 10 News saying, he worked the streets for three weeks straight, putting in 60 to 70 hours a week which ultimately led to the indictments of all those people.

Police are calling this investigation, Operation Ghost Raptor.

The sheriff says it all started two years ago after William Carter, a 22-year-old man, died of a fentanyl overdose.

The sheriff promised Carter's family he would find the people responsible.

Sheriff E.W. Viar says the purpose of the investigation was to identify the source and supplier.

With the help of Lynchburg police, Appomattox and Campbell county sheriff offices and the Virginia State Police, investigators found the drug was coming from New Jersey.

Investigators found ”stash and drop" locations and seized 5 ounces of heroin. That's worth about $35,000 in street value.

As of today, 12 of the 16 people targeted in Operation Ghost Raptor have been arrested.

“We worked very well with all the resources in the area, and we worked very closely together. I’m very proud that I can bring some sense of relief to the family,” Viar said.

The Sheriff’s Office says this is still an ongoing investigation.

The top suspect, Shawn Booker, is a fugitive right now. 

Investigators would not confirm whether Booker is from New Jersey, but do say U.S. marshals are involved in the search.

ORIGINAL:

An Amherst County drug bust has netted more than 5 ounces of heroin, according to the Sheriff's Office. 

Authorities say a continuing criminal enterprise involving 16 people was responsible for more than 1 pound of heroin being brought into the Lynchburg area from New Jersey on a monthly basis. 

According to deputies, the heroin seized has a combined street value of more than $35,000. 

Authorities released more information at a press conference at 3 p.m. Wednesday:

WATCH: Authorities give an update after an Amherst County drug bust netted more than 5 ounces of heroin, with a street value of more than $35,000.

Posted by WSLS 10 / WSLS.com on Wednesday, October 30, 2019

About the Authors:

Magdala Louissaint

Magdala Louissaint is an award-winning journalist who joined WSLS 10 in July 2017 as the Lynchburg bureau reporter.

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