‘Operation Dark Crystal’ executed in West Tennessee

CARROLL COUNTY, Tenn. —┬áThe Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, in combination with several other agencies, made a large drug bust in Carroll County.

Early Tuesday morning, local law enforcement executed what’s being called Operation Dark Crystal.

During the bust, investigators were able to seize multiple vehicles, drugs, and around $30,000 in cash.

This was the result of a 15 month undercover operation that began in September of 2021. The operation was led by special agents of the TBI Drug Investigation Division, Huntingdon and McKenzie Police Departments, the 24th Judicial Drug Task Force, and the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.

“During the investigation, authorities conducted multiple controlled purchases, surveillance, and of course, research. Today, more than 90 officers with 15 agencies participated in this roundup in an effort to bring these individuals into custody,” said Keli McAlister, the Public Information Officer for the TBI.

As of 4 p.m. on Tuesday, the TBI reports that 47 people have been arrested. You can find their list here.

“Each individual has been or will be booked into the Carroll County Jail on bonds ranging from $50,000 to $2 million,” McAlister said.

Officials from the agencies that partnered with the TBI also had important messages.

“As most people are aware in the last several years, we have constantly had to fight drug dealers who are distributing drugs laced with fentanyl. I’ve personally lost count of the times that my officers have had to Narcan people that have overdosed. We’re losing people daily. Young people, young lives are being ruined by these drugs, and we are dedicated to the fight against drugs,” said Walter Smothers, the Director of Public Safety for the City of Huntingdon. “Quite often, a person that’s selling drugs here in Huntingdon is also selling drugs in McKenzie or Bruceton or somewhere out in the county. Interagency cooperation, along with the efforts from the TBI, they have what’s led to the successful operation that we’re seeing come to [fruition] today.”

“This is like I say, the end of this chapter, but like I say, it’s an ongoing battle and we realize that whenever we lock some of these folks up, there’s somebody willing to step up and take their place. But we would like for them to be aware that [they will] always be looking over their shoulder because we will always be looking for them,” said Carroll County Sheriff Andy Dickson.

This is an active and on-going investigation.

The abundance of fentanyl in drugs was a driving factor for this operation.

Find updates on local crime here.

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