The Bedford County Drug Task Force and state police arrested 17 of 25 local drug dealers in a countywide raid, which began at 7 a.m. Tuesday under the name Operation Clean Sweep.
District Attorney William Higgins said drugs in the county is a major issue.
‘‘We’re confronting it head-on and putting a real dent in drug activity in Bedford County,’’ he said, adding that drugs are an issue everywhere.
Higgins said six months of investigation led to Tuesday’s raid. The defendants, arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Kathy Calhoun, include ‘‘common pill pushers’’ and ‘‘high-level heroin suppliers,’’ according to a press release.
Since January, police have arrested 56 people in six drug raids in Blair County alone.
Police expect to apprehend the remaining suspects shortly. They are: Joel Cogan of Everett, Amy Jo Gregg of Everett, Leslie Morris of Schellsburg, Brent Ross of Lancaster, Matthew Sabo of Bedford, Raymand Serrano of New York, N.Y., James Vuckovich of Everett and Nathaniel White of New Paris.
‘‘The Bedford County Drug Task Force has not rested since 2004. We are constantly following tips, gathering intelligence and conducting surveillance on the drug merchants in Bedford County.
“As I’ve said before, our message to drug suppliers is clear: If you set up shop in Bedford County, we will know about it, and you will wind up behind bars where you belong,’’ Higgins said in a press release.
‘‘I cannot overstate the sense of pride and accomplishment that I have for the officers involved in our drug task force. These officers work tirelessly with the district attorney’s office to rid our community of the ravages of the drug trade.’’
Higgins recognized the cooperation of Bedford County Sheriff Charwin Reichelderfer and Bedford Borough Police Chief Jim Sigler.
‘‘Their level of commitment and cooperation in our effort has been vital to the success of the Bedford County Drug Task Force,’’ Higgins said.
Officers involved in the drug raid do not comment to the media keep their identity concealed.
To report drug activity in Bedford County, call the drug task force hot line at 866-DRUG-INFO.
Mirror Staff Writer Amanda Clegg is at 949-7030.
Fact BoxBEDFORD BUST
Seventeen people were arrested Tuesday by agents from the Bedford County Drug Task Force and state police during a raid. They include:
-- John Fitzgerald Axon, 41, 416 Main St., Manns Choice: one felony and one misdemeanor drug charge
-- Richard Allen Edwards, 59, 816 Main St., Saxton: one felony drug charge
-- Shane Christopher Hill, 20, 1790 Pleasant Hollow Road, Alum Bank: one felony and one misdemeanor drug charge
-- Ray Merle Ross, 55, Box 177A, James Creek RD 1: one felony and misdemeanor drug charge
-- Carole Marie Monahan, 23, 811 Pine Knob Road, Osterburg: one felony and one misdemeanor drug charge
-- Jerry L. Horton, 46, 547 Newton Road, Riddlesburg: one felony drug charge
-- Sally Jean Detwiler, 57, 219 W. Main St., Apt. 1, Everett: one felony drug charge
-- Jeramiah L. Blackstone, 19, 211 Old Racetrack Road, Everett: one felony and one misdemeanor drug charge
-- Allen Neil Bridges, 52, 37 W. Third Ave., Everett: one felony drug charge
-- James R. Swope, 50, 504 Main St., Saxton: one felony drug charge
-- Alan Michael Mannion, 20, 141 Graybill Road, Osterburg: three felony and two misdemeanor drug charges
-- James William Anderson, 27, 8474 Black Valley Road, Everett: four felony and three misdemeanor drug charges
-- Clayton Eugene Stevey, 23, 172 San Francisco Road, Everett: one felony and one misdemeanor drug charge
-- Warren Leigh Corle, 23, 116 N. Third St., McConnellsburg: four felony and three misdemeanor drug charges
-- Charity L. Spade, 32, 124 Antler Club Lane, Bedford: one felony and one misdemeanor drug charge
-- Lucan Leo Smith, 30, Washington Street, Dudley: two felony drug charges
-- Penny Kay Smith, 54, Washington Street, Dudley: three felony drug charges