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Washington County Sheriff Blake Andis (left) and Commonwealth’s Attorney Josh Cumbow announced Tuesday a joint multistate investigation has resulted in 101 indictments on 48 people charged with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine in Southwest Virginia.

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Washington County Commonwealth's Attorney Josh Cumbo speaks during a press conference about a joint operation called "Operation Pandemic."

UPDATED

ABINGDON, Va. — A drug investigation dubbed Operation Pandemic has resulted in 101 indictments and 40 arrests so far, Washington County Sheriff Blake Andis announced Tuesday.

The joint investigation was a collaboration between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and 48 people have been charged, with some still at large, Andis said during a news conference.

Andis said the roundup was named Operation Pandemic because while most people self-quarantined at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, drug dealers continued to sell and law enforcement continued to work to arrest them.

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Washington County Sheriff Blake Andis announced Tuesday that Operation Pandemic, a joint investigation with multiple agencies and several states, has resulted in 101 indictments on 48 people for individuals charged with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine in Southwest Virginia.

“I think it will help curb some of the drug distribution for a little while, put people on the edge. We’re still working hard, diligently and effectively,” Andis said.

As part of the monthslong investigation, Andis said his office worked with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bristol Virginia Police Department, the Virginia State Police and the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, as well as other law enforcement agencies in nearby counties and North Carolina.

So far crystal methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, prescription drugs and marijuana have been seized. The drug in the highest quantities was meth, the majority of which was smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico and other countries, according to the sheriff.

Washington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Josh Cumbow said the public can expect another wave of arrests toward the end of July.


ABINGDON, Va. --- Washington County Sheriff's Office arrested 37 people Tuesday as part of a joint investigation done in collaboration with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, Sheriff Blake Andis said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

The investigation, dubbed Operation Pandemic, has resulted in a total of 101 indictments against a total of 48 individuals. Andis said his office worked with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bristol Virginia Police Department and the Virginia State Police, as well as other law enforcement bodies in nearby counties and states.

He added that police seized crystal methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl and marijuana as part of the crackdown Tuesday. However, he said to his knowledge no firearms were seized.

The Washington County Commonwealth's Attorney Josh Cumbow said the public can expect another wave of arrests toward the end of July.

lgreiss@bristolnews.com | 276-645-2512 | Twitter: @Leif_Greiss

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