"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.
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 >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:19 AM EST2014-03-08 15:19:21 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:31 AM EST2014-03-08 13:31:36 GMT
The Governor is traveling to Rhode Island Saturday. His office says Governor Peter Shumlin will be at Brown University in Providence taking part in a forum with the Rhode Island Governor. While theMore >>
The Governor is traveling to Rhode Island Saturday. More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:17 AM EST2014-03-08 13:17:30 GMT
We have some ideas for your Saturday. IRISH FESTIVAL The 19th annual Burlington Irish Heritage Festival kicks off today. There is a lecture about the role of Irish immigrants in the Civil War at theMore >>
Friday, March 7 2014 7:28 PM EST2014-03-08 00:28:44 GMT
Williston Police say, the powder was from a generic prescription medication. They say, the man was from Burlington and had the paperwork in his pocket with his medicine and that's how it got on there. More >>
Williston Police say, the powder was from a generic prescription medication. They say, the man was from Burlington and had the paperwork in his pocket with his medicine and that's how it got on there.More >>