Looking into the progress of the Mountain Lakes Drug and Violent Crimes Unit

BUCKHANNON, W. Va. (WDTV) - It's been around eight months since multiple agencies joined forces and formed the now known Mountain Lakes Drug and Violent Crimes Unit.

"By forming this task force is to focus a great deal of attention with the drug trade and also any type of violent crime in our jurisdiction," said Lewis County Sheriff Adam Gissy, back in April.

Agencies like West Virginia State Police, Lewis, Braxton, Upshur County Sheriffs departments, and Buckhannon Police Department have been doing just that tackling the drug epidemic.

"Man power became our greatest asset," Buckhannon Police Chief Matt Gregory.

In less than six months, the task force managed to do several drug sweeps in the area.

In September after weeks of investigations, they arrested more than 20 people in Upshur County. A week later, more than a dozen people were cuffed in Lewis County,

According to Chief Gregory, there were other arrests in Braxton and Gilmer counties.

"Given the fact that the task force is fairly new in the grand scheme of things, it's a remarkable success to see the amount of work that's been able to accomplish in this time period," said Gregory.

According to reports like the CDC, drug overdose deaths in West Virginia continues to increase up more than 20%. The task force goal's is to bring those numbers down.

"When we head to our one year anniversary, certainly that will be one of the topics of discussion, is to look back what we have accomplished and at the same time look forward the work that still remains to be done," he said.

They hope with what they're doing, their respected communities can one day be fully clean, and help those who are in need.

"Investigations into these kind of activities will be ongoing unfortunately as long as a demand," said Gregory.