Police, city leaders react to $5 million in drugs seized in Roanoke

ROANOKE, Va. – A new task force is making a difference in the Roanoke Valley and keeping dangerous drugs off the street, including fentanyl.

While the Star City Drug and Violent Crime task force is only a couple of years old, during that time, the team has arrested 48 people, leading to sentences totaling almost 700 years.

“It’s good to see these numbers because you see the effectiveness of the task force and what it does day in and day out,” Virginia State Police spokesperson Corinne Geller said. “But it’s also disturbing to see just the amounts of drugs that are circulating within these communities.”

The task force seized approximately $5 million in illegal drugs, which included 12 pounds of fentanyl, 48 pounds of cocaine, 124 pounds of methamphetamine and 163 pounds of marijuana.

One kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people, according to the DEA. Twelve pounds is a little more than 5 kgs, meaning what was seized in the Star City has the potential to kill more than 2.5 million people.

Virginia State Police said investigative police work led them to make the arrests, but community tips are what have played a big role in the busts.

“The public letting us know, ‘Hey, there’s this suspicious activity going on,’ or ‘Hey, my son or daughter was approached by somebody,’” Geller said.

Roanoke City Mayor Sherman Lea considers the task force a step in the right direction.

“What I’m most pleased with is it sends a message,” Lea said. “To those who want to sell drugs and even those who use drugs.”

About the Author

Amy Cockerham joined the 10 News team in January 2023.

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