Crimetracker: Huge drug round-up in Loudon County

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LENOIR CITY, Tenn. (WVLT)--Loudon County investigators have their hands full with a drug bust of their own arresting a dozen suspected dealers. They're calling it one of the largest round-ups in Loudon County history. For the first time ever, more women than men are being arrested on drug charges.

A bad day for several women who were handcuffed and accused of selling pills and much more. Ninth Judicial Drug Task Force District Attorney Russell Johnson says, "Some of this is also involved the sale of cocaine, crack, and even marijuana."

That's not all. They got pot, cash and cell phones and this is just from one person. Another bust brought in liquid morphine. In all, local and federal agents arrested 18 people. Loudon Police Officer Jonathan Yates says, "It will slow down for a little bit, but it's not going to stop it."

Prescription pills are the number one problem in Loudon County even over meth and marijuana. Women are the main ones getting the pills and selling them. Johnson says, "Now our biggest jail overcrowding issue comes from the female population and you're seeing an equal male female ratio ."

Investigators will work through the night tonight to bring in the ones who got away. There are about 7 they're trying to apprehend right now. This type of round up takes at least 6 months to organize. The people arrested Thursday face felony charges, so they'll likely do some time in jail. Prosectors will make plea deals with most of them to get information on other dealers.