30 Arrested in Coatesville drug sweep

August 20, 2008 9:10:54 AM PDT
Police in Coatesville, Chester County arrested 30 suspected drug dealers, as part of a crackdown in the community. Authorities say those drugs are fueling violence in the community. That's why authorities have begun a major crackdown called Operation Clean Air.

One of their weapons: surveillance video. The state Attorney General on Tuesday released several minutes of video, showing what he called an "open air drug market."

"Tapes will be available, they'll be used in court if necessary," said Attorney General Tom Corbett.

The arrests are seen as a shock treatment for a town that risks being overwhelmed. People who live there say, such a move is long overdue.

"We don't need these drugs around here, " said Wanda Mill. "These drugs are destroying families."

Some people who waited to meet up with those who were arrested disputed the assumption they were connected to violent crimes.

But Coatesville Police Chief William Matthews says people need to come to grips with what their kids are up to.

"When the child comes in with clothing or money or a bicycle or anything that you haven't given them," Matthews said "Ask them 'Where did you get the money?"

More than 100 officers and deputies were involved in Operation Clean Air. The message officials want to send is that things are changing in this small town.

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