MT. VERNON, Ill. – Seven men and one woman were arrested on drug charges earlier this week in Mt. Vernon, Illinois and the surrounding Jefferson County area. The arrests were part of an ongoing joint investigation into narcotics dealing.

Members of the Mt. Vernon Police Department, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, the ATF, and the U.S. Marshals Task Force, served the warrants and made the arrests.

Just 8 a.m. Tuesday, authorities went to two homes in the 500 block of S. 22nd Street and a third home in the 2200 block of Cherry Street.

Police claim detectives found large quantities of methamphetamine, cannabis, other controlled substances, U.S. currency, drug equipment, firearms, and ammunition in three houses. Thirty-one-year-old Kegan Graham, 21-year-old Sebastian Whipple, and 24-year-old Rafael Diaz were taken into custody at the residences.

Local officers assigned to the investigation scoured Jefferson County for other people wanted on drug-related warrants. The following individuals were arrested: 39-year-old Jerrett Spells, 62-year-old Jeffrey Dent, 39-year-old Christopher Carter, 34-year-old Eric Rakers, 31-year-old Richard Hicks, and 54-year-old Rebecca Phillips.

Mt. Vernon is approximately 80 miles east of St. Louis.