FRANKLIN, Ind. -- Johnson County Prosecutor Brad Cooper has a message for drug dealers: "Stay the hell out of Johnson County."
Cooper was joined by Franklin Mayor Steve Barnett, Franklin Police Chief Tim O'Sullivan and Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox on Wednesday to announce a joint investigation that resulted in arrest warrants for 63 people on drug charges.
According to Cooper, the arrests come following a months-long investigation by the FPD Special Investigations Unit and the Johnsons County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Unit.
The charges are primarily for dealing in methamphetamine, but also include dealing in narcotics and other controlled substances.
Officers from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana State Police, U.S. Marshal’s Service, and the Franklin, Edinburgh, Trafalgar, Bargersville and New Whiteland police departments began serving the arrest warrants Wednesday morning.
At a 1 p.m. press conference, Cooper said 48 suspects had already been taken into custody.
This is the second drug sweep Johnson County authorities have done this year. In May, police served more than 40 arrest warrants to suspects accused of dealing heroin and meth in the area.
Cooper said he wants drug dealers to know Johnson County is not a place for them to do business.
“If you’re a drug dealer we’re going to find you, we’re going to arrest you, and we’re going to put you in jail," Cooper said.
Of the 63 arrest warrants issued, Cooper said 18 were for women, and 18 were for people from outside of Johnson County. Of those, 12 were for Indianapolis residents.
Sheriff Cox said the Johnson County Jail, already dealing with overcrowding issues, took steps to prepare for the influx of dozens of new inmates.
“We will not turn on the ‘no vacancy’ sign because of this," Cox said. "We will not slow down just because the jail has a few more people in it than we wish it had. Hopefully these people will get the message.”
Cooper said Johnson County has seen a 37-percent reduction in its overall crime rate in the four years the county has been doing these drug sweeps. He said law enforcement have even overhead drug dealers saying they avoid the county altogether.
“Oftentimes we’ll have one drug dealer telling another drug dealer, ‘I don’t come to Johnson County,'" Cooper said. "And we’re very proud of that.”