Update: Drug charges dominate Claiborne round-up | News
Claiborne County authorities deployed early this morning to arrest 72 indicted individuals who are accused of a total of 314 criminal offenses. The charges range from passing counterfeit money to elderly abuse.
Sheriff David Ray said 90% of the suspects face drug charges.
"There's no doubt that the pill problem is growing," Ray said. "The pills are the main problem in East Tennessee compared to meth."
When asked if the drug problem is improving in Claiborne County the sheriff responded, "I think it's better. It's better than it was. This is going to make us over 1,400 cases that we've had here in six years and we haven't lost any drug cases in court."
The agencies presented their evidence Wednesday to a grand jury who handed down the indictments.
The charges include passing counterfeit money, aggravated child abuse and neglect, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, elderly abuse, promotion of Methamphetamine, sale of Schedules 2, 3, 4 and 6 controlled substances, casual exchange of controlled substances, theft and driving under the influence of an intoxicant.
Individuals arrested will be held in the Claiborne County jail.
Arraignments are scheduled for Wednesday, December 19th. Criminal Court Judge Shane Sexton will preside.
Sheriff Ray said cases take a long time to create. He knows of another 75 to 100 people who could be arrested in the future.