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Mother, daughter among 23 arrested in Caroline County drug sweep

CAROLINE COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) — Dozens were arrested, including a mother and her own daughter, during a massive drug sweep Thursday morning.

Investigators say what many of them were caught selling is probably for sale in your neighborhood – prescription pills.

It’s what the experts are calling the fastest-growing form of substance abuse in the country.

While police may be in the area frequently, there was certainly a coordinated effort rolling into the gated community “Lake Caroline” early Thursday morning. Deputies rounded up targets from a year-long undercover operation called “Operation Sunrise.”

“It’s an up and coming problem for a lot of communities in central Virginia, that’s why we target it,” said Scott Moser with the Caroline County Sheriff’s Department.

The tri-county task force is not just going after those dealing cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy and heroin but also focusing on those distributing and illegally possessing prescription pain killers

“People don’t realize how important it is to get rid of these drugs,” Moser said. People get addicted and it causes break-ins, it leads to people getting hooked and selling to keep up with their habit.”

That domino effect is what caused undercover narcotics officers to arrest a mother, daughter duo.

Rachel Thomas, age 51, and her daughter Loretta Thomas, age 33, were both arrested and charged with distribution of prescription pills.

Five others were also charged with either distribution or possession

Twenty-three people were arrested and seven face felony charges that deal with prescription pills

It’s something Lake Caroline neighbor David Nelson says he could see coming.

“Why shouldn’t it happen here, happens everywhere else?”

“I’m really not too surprised.”

Caroline County investigators expect more arrests to be made.

According to a Trust for America’s Health survey, 6.1 million Americans abused prescription drugs in 2012.

15 comments

  • Gerry

    Gated commnunity? Now I will start looking at all those people as being part of the underground economy!!!

  • bill

    Im sorry but a year long investigation into people buying & selling pills,don’t know seems like waste of resources……if convicted don’t incarcerate, fine and recoup monies for the county

  • Melissa S.

    TThis is a joke why arent they out there getting rapests and molesters and murderers and pedophiles……it doesnt matter how many they arrest because two more will take each persons place!

  • Ashley

    It is so pathetic that the news would broadcast and target these two women out of all twenty some that were arrested…what happened to innocent untill proven guilty…they could of lost their jobs, homes and friends over this broadcast over one small felony??? Why ruin someone’s life over ONE criminal charge in which they are still innocent untill a court date…the media is SOOO sad..

  • Jeremy r

    Rapes and murders don’t happen everyday and drugs are one of the gateways that lead to that, take away the drugs and you are effectively solving other issues as well, robbery break ins murders all to gain money to buy drugs to feed their habit, so Melissa s. They are in fact working on stopping bigger crime.

  • Michelle Lynn Reid

    I am sorry to tell you jeremy r drugs are not the gateway to all crime i know so many people that have done crimes and not one of them was on drugs or selling or even dealing them had nothing to do with drugs so i am sorry to tell u that rapes murders robbreys and other crimes are still going to happen no matter what drugs don’t have nothing to do with it the news also had no right just targeting the two women just cuz it was a mother-daughter duo the should have targeted all of them cuz there was 23 others that did the same thing and i do belive that the cops do need to do more about driveing while drinking texting talking on the phone without a hands free device, drugs doing make-up the cops need to do more about that i know first hand what happens to a kid /person when people do stupid things while driveing people should not do anything while driveing no matter what it is even if u think ur the best driver in the world don’t do it plz and the cops als needs to do something about the rapest and childpredators kidnappings no matter what drugs will be around forever u put one in jail it seems like ten more show up it will never stop and drugs are not a gateway to all crimes not all people are drugdealers orsellers or addicts so plz dont say its a gateway unless u can prove that all crimes are connected to drugs by showing proof thank you i hope that people will listen to the laws and don’t drive whie doing anything u should not be doing it will save lifes

    • Jeremy r

      If you were smart enough to be able to read and comprehend my comment you would see I need key statement in my post, I never said it was the gateway to all crime I clearly said it was only one of the many gateways to crime

  • ross

    all of you are wrong sheriff lippa has been arresting 10-50 people ayear for the past ten years or better so he can keep his office out of those 23 I bet only 3 might be guilty if that the prosecuter Spencer has jumped on the band wagon along with two dirty detectives and two dirty ci”s by the nane of krystal and Otis Knapp it was brought out on Jan 5, 2013 showing the Knapps were scaming the state of coarse spencer still needed convictions so he did not dissmiss the cases they are still pendining in the very near future this will go very public.you or a family member or a friend could be next.

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