Police bust 45 people in Cumberland Co. accused of dealing illegal drugs

MIDDLESEX TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Dozens of people in Cumberland County, who are accused of dealing small amounts of illegal drugs, were busted by police.

More than 30 of them are now in custody.

Members of the Cumberland County Drug Task Force confiscated tens-of-thousands of dollars worth of drugs in this bust.

District Attorney David Freed said it's one of the biggest busts in the county.

Freed said officials are targeting dealers specifically and not users, and the county mostly uses confidential informants to help the investigation.

"It still raised the eyebrows though that a place like Cumberland County: relatively safe, relatively affluent, suburban, semi-rural county, that we have this amount of drug activity going on," Freed said.

He said the drug epidemic has hit Cumberland County hard.

"We have prosecuted as many or more drug delivery resulting in death cases in Cumberland County than anyone in the state," he said.

He thinks more needs to be done to reestablish mandatory sentences for drug dealers.

"What kind of non-violent activity carries the body count that a heroin dealer does?" Freed asked. "Does retail theft have a body count? Does forgery have a body count? Does vandalism have a body count? Dealing heroin certainly does."

Seven full-time officers are part of the Drug Task Force in the county. Those officers said they see a lot of heroin on the streets of Cumberland County. In this bust alone, $35,000-worth of heroin was confiscated.

Freed said, "We need to communicate this to the public. We're out there working. We're in the throes of this crisis. We're probably going to have more overdose deaths this year than we've ever had. We'll get out of this and we'll get to a point where it levels off."

The district attorney said county officials will continue in their efforts to get drugs off the streets and plan to arrest the remaining suspects.