St. Bernard aims to arrest 42 suspected drug dealers

St. Bernard Parish, La.- Police arrested about 25 suspects by mid afternoon in a round-up operation Thursday.

The operation began at 6 a.m. Thursday.

Trying to stamp out street drug sales, the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office ended a five month undercover investigation called "Operation Summer Heat,'' looking for 42 people wanted for distribution of drugs including crack cocaine, heroin, marijuana and pills.

Twenty-seven of the arrest warrants were for distribution of crack cocaine and 15 for distribution of heroin, marijuana and pills. Of the 42 suspects, officials say five are women.

"We think the cases are rock-solid,'' Sheriff Pohlmann said. "All of the buys were video-taped'' and the sellers were identified before warrants of arrest were sought from judges, he said.

The investigation and subsequent "buys'' of narcotics began last April.

The DEA, State Police and others also assisting in the operation.

A spokesman for the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office says most of the subjects are from the Violet area, but arrests were also made in Chalmette, Meraux and in New Orleans. One gun was recovered during the arrest of a man in Chalmette.

All 25 arrested suspects will go before a judge on Friday to have bond set.

"We have zero tolerance for drug-dealing,''said Pohlmann, "Users need treatment. Drug dealers need to go to jail. They profit from ruining people's lives.''

Of the 42 suspects, many are repeat offenders.