Drug Sweep Nets 35 in Statesboro - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/18/04

Drug Sweep Nets 35 in Statesboro

There was a huge drug bust this morning in Bulloch County. Statesboro police, Bulloch County sheriff's deputies and regional drug agents rounded up 35 accused drug dealers. Police brought all the suspects to Paulson Stadium at Georgia Southern University. Agents say the suspected dealers sold drugs to undercover officers.

It was an early morning wake up call for dozens of the accused. Police were at their doors to carry them to jail. According to university police, only three or four were GSU students.  Many more had either flunked out or been kicked out and were still hanging around. And police have a name for their unwelcome visitors: "Cling-ons."

"A lot of times they just move into some apartment complex next to the university and continue with their illegal activity," explained Chief Ken Brown of the university police.

These aren't the Klingons you'd see in a Star Trek rerun. They're college-age people who aren't in college. They "cling on" to the college crowd and prey on students and the community.

Whether they sack out on a friend's couch or hide in vacant apartments, police say Cling-ons are the source of much of their crime, from drug sales to last month's burglary ring where students spotted the suspects in their neighborhood wearing their stolen clothes.

"When we focus on Georgia Southern University, these are the majority of people we have to deal with over here," said Rick Rountree of the Drug Suppression Team.

Police say the group wasn't the sole target of Wednesday's sweep. "We're not going to put up with people that come here to sell drugs whether they live here part time, full time or whatever," said Sheriff Lynn Anderson.

Officers hope the arrests serve notice the Cling-ons are officially unwelcome in their home away from home. Police have 68 people in custody. This morning they seized eight vehicles, $4,000 in cash, eight grams of cocaine, an Uzi, an AK-47, and two other guns.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

Powered by WorldNow