LINCOLN COUNTY, MO (KTVI)-- Prescription pills were the focus of a recent drug operation in Lincoln County. Officers arrested 20 people in one day during the drug sweep. Fox 2`s Chris Hayes went with the Narcotics Enforcement Team as they tackled a problem without boundaries.
We saw officers serving warrants in every type of neighborhood imaginable -- from the poorest to upper middle class. But possibly more eye opening were the innocent people impacted by drug use. Like one case, with children.
Officers rolled up to one address where you could see toys on the front step. Investigators had to step over them to arrest a young mother.
You could hear one officer say, "Let`s not cuff her in front of little kids. Her kids are going to be looking out the window."
She called a neighbor to watch the kids. Then officers walked away from the home to cuff her and take her in for marijuana possession.
Officer Roger Mauzy Jr. said, "It`s a horrible situation and I just don`t understand why people would continue to put themselves in this situation."
These officers work for the Narcotics Enforcement Team, or NET.
They scoured every corner of Lincoln County, serving warrants in every type of neighborhood.
It was in the backwoods where they searched for a suspect connected to a 22-year-old man who reportedly died taking prescription pills.
Mauzy said, "That was where the investigation started and that whole entire case is based on prescription meds, no illegal drugs."
Dogs barked, a rooster appeared and a relative asked about the pills. He asked, "Do you know what the controlled substance was?" The officer responded, "Oxys."
The 19-year-old suspect rubbed his eyes before putting his hands in cuffs. He looked at Fox 2's camera and said "Get that &$#@&%$ camera out of my face."
Officers continue hoping people get the message. Officer Mauzy put it this way, "It's not worth it. We might not catch you the first time, we might not catch you the 2nd time, but eventually we`re going to catch up to you."
They hope it doesn't take someone dying. During this operation, 40% of the warrants dealt with prescription drugs.
A recent study found nearly 7 in 10 Americans take prescriptions. It was a study you can find here, conducted by Mayo Clinic and Olmsted Medical Center.