Eight middle to upper level drug dealers in the Pine Belt have been arrested as a result of a three-year undercover investigation. Officials say the group is responsible for moving as much as 80 pounds of meth a month, through the Pine Belt.
The early morning raid Tuesday was conducted by state narcotics, bureau agents, deputies from Forrest, Jones, and Lamar counties as well as Hattiesburg's police department, and agents from the DEA and the FBI.
The eight suspects made their initial court appearance in Hattiesburg Federal Court this morning. The suspects include Dexter and Darrion Jones of Hattiesburg, Derrick Coleman and Roderick Simpson of Hattiesburg, Mitchell Jones of SOSO, Jamie Wheat and Cedric Walker of Laurel, and John Foster of Brooklyn.
In addition, a California man was arrested on the west coast. Who authorities say was the group's main supplier. All are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
State narcotics bureau director, John Dowdy, says their primary focus is to cut the head off the snake and that's what they did with this raid.
The suspects have been ordered to be held in the Stone County Jail without bond until Friday's bond hearing.