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Mercer: County-wide drug sweep

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MERCER COUNTY, Pennsylvania - The Hermitage Police Department was the jumping off point for the round-up operation in a drug sweep Friday morning.

A spokesman says the sweep is the result of on-going drug investigations which had produced enough information for arrest warrants to be issued for seven people.

"The arrests were spread out through the Hermitage, Sharon and Farrell area. It was a cooperative effort from the Mercer County drug task force case agents that put together the arrests leading up to this morning," says Gary Hartman with the Mercer County Sheriff's Department.

Those arrested are Billy Phillips, Douglas Christoff, Travis Owens, Dwight Campbell and Joseph Ost.

All are facing felony drug charges for possession and intent to deliver. The investigations included drug sales and transactions by undercover officers.

"Various narcotics, cocaine, heroin ... some different controlled prescription drugs," Hartman says.

Hartman says an undisclosed amount of drugs were confiscated as additional evidence.

"Some drugs and paraphernalia were seized this morning during the course of serving the warrants and no resistance was met by any of the suspects," he says.

The task force says drug investigations are always on-going and there will be more sweep operations.

"You know we try to do it as cases come up usually yearly, it happens to or three times a year," Hartman says.

The five suspects remain jailed in lieu of bonds ranging from $10,000 to $50,000.

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