POSTED: Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 6:40pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 7:13pm
LIVINGSTON PARISH,LA(NBC33) — Valentine's Day ended a little early for some couples in Livingston Parish. With 25 people to arrest the Sheriff’s Deputies hit the streets early to start finding them.
It's a drug sting dubbed "Operation I Got Your Valentine" and with a huge prescription drug problem in Sheriff Ard is trying to be proactive by rounding up offenders.
"The guys involved in this sting have been working very hard," says Livingston Sheriff, Jason Ard. “I’m happy to know were getting these individuals off the streets, behind bars where they belong today."
Many of the people are accused of selling and possessing prescription drugs and marijuana. Officers tell NBC33 that Facebook is a major help in these cases, because it allows them to find connections to those who sell and go undercover to make arrests.
One local resident says she’s happy Sheriff Ard is working to combat this growing problem in Livingston parish.
"You never know what they might do over drugs," she said.
Erica Sagona lives in an area of Denham Springs that she says has a huge drug problem. And with the arrest of David Chenin and Phyllis Henson only a few houses down, Sagona says until now, she rarely felt safe.
"They are patrolling here a lot more and I think they are going to other neighborhoods too and patrolling there and checking things out so it makes it a lot safer for the kids and for the adults," says Sagona.
In many cases, Livingston Sheriffs Office sees children neglected in homes that have illegal drugs. The people being arrested for prescriptions, like in this case, have been found with other drugs as well.
Sagona says she’s happy to see a stronger law enforcement presence in her community, because she worries for the safety of not only her son, but her sister, too.
"I have a sister that lives here so I worry about what she might get into what she might do," noted Sagona.
Many of the people arrested will be charged with felonies and their sentences will all be different, according to each crime.