The Laurel County Sheriff calls it "Independence from drug dealers." With the help from several agencies, the sheriff led a drug bust the morning of July 4th.
Deputies arrested more than 20 suspected drug dealers, and our cameras captured the whole thing.
Using darkness as cover, the deputies arrived at the first house. Months of planning and undercover work netted more than two-dozen arrests.
Laurel County Sheriff John Root says his deputies arrested dealers selling a variety of drugs. He noted one drug they did not find.
"No meth, very proud of it," said Root.
He says his office has a handle on meth, and now there's a new concern.
"Prescription drugs is a problem, and we're going to fight it daily. And if you're dealing expect a visit from us real soon," said Root.
We followed one of four teams. They swiftly moved through the county.
Before 6:30 AM the team we followed already arrived to its third location. The Sheriff wanted the bust early, hoping to catch suspects in bed.
"We like the just the element of surprise. We like to go in unexpected, it really gives us more control over the situation," said Root.
He says the arrests went smoothly with no surprises, but one suspect made a surprising admission.
A deputy says one of the suspects said she hasn't sold any dope...Since the winter.
The Sheriff says an undercover deputy previously bought drugs from everybody arrested.
"They've already sold. It's a done deal. They'll still go through the judicial process," said Root.
With the sun rising, we arrived at the last stop. Deputies took the suspects back to the Sheriff's office, and then into jail.
The Sheriff says they arrested street-level dealers. He says they will provide the information to arrest higher-level dealers.