MEREAUX, La. - St. Bernard Parish sheriff's deputies cracked down on the drug trade Thursday morning.
Deputies along with other law enforcement agencies arrested 19 drug suspects during "Operation Summer Heat."
Sheriff Jimmy Pohlmann said that when it comes to drugs, you educate children about the dangers of drugs. And, when it comes to adult addicts, you get treatment for them. But, when it comes to drug dealers, you put them in jail, he said.
Around 6 a.m., deputies fanned out and were armed with arrest warrants for 42 people on various charges.
The operation began in the spring when deputies saw an uptick in the drug trade.
"We saw an increase in cocaine possession...we wanted to make sure that we get in front of it, instead if chasing it. Back in April, we started this undercover operation specifically targeting people dealing crack cocaine. We ended up, out of 42 defendants, 27 of those cases were crack cocaine cases and the rest were marijuana, pills and heroin," Pohlmann said.
Deputies targeted street level dealers, the sheriff said.
"St. Bernard enjoys a relatively low violent crime rate and this is a big part of that," Pohlmann said.
The sheriff's office expects these arrests to make a significant dent in the drug trade.