Lake County deputies bust 38 suspected crack cocaine dealers



LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - The Lake County Sheriff's Office announced the arrest of nearly 40 suspected dealers and suppliers across the county Wednesday.

Investigators said tips from everyday citizens kicked off the initial investigation.

Thirty-eight wanted men and women -- most of them are now behind bars, investigators said.

Lake County detectives said all of them were involved in the supply and sale of cocaine and crack.

"Our detectives received a lot of complaints from citizens in the Umatilla area about the sale of cocaine taking place in their neighborhoods. And that's what really got this started off," Lt. John Herrell of the Lake County Sheriff's Office said.

Operation Dog Pound started three months ago. The roundup began Tuesday.

More than $100,000 worth of coke was taken off the streets, most of it in Umatilla, Mount Dora and Eustis.

Detectives said it wasn't a drug network but they said a few key suppliers sold powdered cocaine to street level dealers who made it into crack.

Authorities hope many more arrests will follow.

"One never knows. When you start out with 38 arrest warrants -- these guys are always connected to others who are connected to others. The sky is the limit. The possibilities are endless," Herrell said.