"I appreciate the fact that they are getting some of them," said Albert Skidmore of Bennington.
Skidmore says he is thankful for the effort police are making to attack the drug problem, but worries it will forever be an uphill battle.
"There will always be others coming. And some will say, well I got caught one time... And I'll be smarter next time and won't get caught," Skidmore said.
But on Wednesday, that wasn't the case for 16 drug suspects who were picked up during a sweep across Bennington County.
This is the fourth sweep of its kind in Vermont this year and the second in Bennington. Back in January, Operation County Strike targeted 67 dealers. Now, during Operation Strike Two, three of those defendants picked up last winter were arrested again for the sale of heroin, cocaine and prescription narcotics. But authorities say that number is lower than first anticipated.
"Well, I think that number is great. I think three out of 23 is great," Bennington County Prosecutor Erica Marthage said. "When we initially did the first sweep, we were almost immediately receiving information that there were drug deals going on the next day. And that's pretty disheartening."
Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette says sweeps are expensive and do require many resources. But he says it is worth every penny.
"I think 100 percent it is absolutely effective," Doucette said.
Marthage says fewer of the higher end drug dealers are winding up in court. Police say what is needed now is for the defendants to be prosecuted and held accountable, and to keep their goals realistic.
"Quite honestly I don't think we will ever get to zero. That's our goal and that's our dream, but I don't think that will ever happen," Doucette said. "Continued use of mobile enforcement teams and people working to resolve some of the issues to try and make it better-- I think that's what we have to do."
Seven targeted dealers are still at large, but police will continue the search to bring them in for prosecution.
Sunday, March 9 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:53:41 GMT
When the Wild Center in Tupper Lake was looking at maple education programs, they hit a bit of a snag. "I took a survey of the 31 acres here at the museum and we only had one maple tree on the property,"More >>
The Community Maple program has been going for three years now, allowing people to take the sap from their backyard and learn how to turn it into syrup.
Sunday, March 9 2014 9:44 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:44:12 GMT
We've got some tasty ideas for this second Sunday in March! PANCAKE BREAKFAST This year is the 20th annual Franklin Fire Dept. Pancake breakfast at the Franklin Central School. They serve more than 2,000More >>
We've got some tasty ideas for this second Sunday in March!More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 8:08 AM EDT2014-03-09 12:08:24 GMT
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County. CCTA officials told us in a statement that after 19 hours of negotiations that went into the morningMore >>
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:29 PM EST2014-03-09 02:29:17 GMT
A warning for pet owners in our region. Coyotes are on the prowl. A biologist in New Hampshire says he has received more than 10 calls recently, in the Keene, New Hampshire area, for a deer that was takenMore >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:21 PM EST2014-03-09 02:21:44 GMT
As spring approaches, many Vermont homeowners prepare to work on their houses - so they head to the Burlington Home Show. And many Vermont small business owners - with their products and services on displayMore >>
Many business owners at the Burlington Home Show say the new health care system in Vermont is helpful, but some say it's causing a real headache.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:07 PM EST2014-03-09 01:07:08 GMT
A rally at the State House in Montpelier Saturday. A passionate group of dozens of women, and men, assembled in front of the State House Saturday for the Women's March for Dignity. They were demandingMore >>
Women's March for Dignity say they are demanding lawmakers support paid sick day policies for all workers.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>