PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - A string of drug busts in Charlotte County landed dozens of suspects behind bars.
WINK News dug through the paperwork to find out more about the alleged dealers being taken off the streets.
A circuit court judge in Charlotte County reports he worked 100 drug-related cases between Wednesday and Saturday, which, he said, was a lot.
"It really sends a strong message that that kind of behavior or activity is not welcome in Charlotte County," said Diane Ramseyer, the Executive Director of Drug Free Charlotte County.
While some groups applaud the efforts of local law enforcement, Scott Weinberg, an attorney, said the rash of arrests could do more harm than good.
"I would argue that it's really not good for the community," Weinberg said. "The Charlotte County Sheriff's Department (sic) narcotics unit is very good at making drug arrests. The problem is that they focus on low-level dealers. They never actually go up the supply chain."
As WINK News poured through dozens of pages of arrest reports, many of the suspects were, in fact, busted for selling five or fewer perscription pills.
Weinberg doubts the "low-level" busts will make a dent in drug trafficking, overall.
"People are always going to do drugs if they want to," Weinberg said. "It's just the nature of man."
Ramseyer maintains that even a small transaction can make a big difference. "I've talked to families where it may have been one pill that made that difference between addiction, or made that difference in even life or death."
WINK News asked the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office about the recent increase in arrests. It was unable to comment.