Emily Cassulo

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Video: Police Cracking Down on Drug Dealers

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – The Columbus police department is cracking down on drugs-targeting street corners all over the city.

Residents on Fourth Street say they’ve had enough of the drug dealing, and they want it to stop.

“I know what’s going on in the neighborhood,” said resident Williedell Sanders. “When they see me they know to move, ’cause they know that I’m going to call the Columbus police department.”

And it’s because of residents like Sanders, that Columbus police launched their “Taking it to the Streets” initiative, identifying street corner drug dealers and taking them to jail.

“We’ve had a six-month investigation in which we went undercover, did undercover buys, but it didn’t slow down these people who are cancerous, if you will, within our communities, from standing on the corners and selling these drugs openly,” said Chief Selvain McQueen.

Sanders says it hasn’t always been this way. The drug dealing has gradually gotten worse.

So bad, police say drug dealers have even done business on church property.

They believe a recent break-in there also has some tie to drugs.

“Some of the items taken out of churches, some of the items that we find when we go on these drug raids, some televisions and all types of items, and these people get these items out of these homes and churches and just sell them for practically nothing,” said Agent Don Richardson.

Officers say they’ve arrested at least 70 people in the operation so far, and have warrants out for about 10 more.

Sanders says she’s just glad police are stepping in.

“I just want everything to be clean and look good,” she said.

Officers say this operation is ongoing.