What authorities are describing as a “large scale operation to combat the sale and distribution of illegal drugs in Chatham County” has led to a dozen arrests, hundreds of charges and large amounts of varying narcotics being seized.

Officials say more than 60 officers from the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation and police departments from Pittsboro and Siler City were part of “Operation Safe Communities.”

The operation, which was initially carried out last Thursday morning, was the culmination of 10 months of narcotics work, according to a release from the sheriff’s office.

More than 250 charges were brought against 12 suspects arrested, although authorities entered the day with 25 suspects.

The operation netted nearly 295 grams of cocaine, more than 53 grams of crack, 101 grams of marijuana, 73 grams of heroin, 112 opioid pills, 13 dosage units of LSD and 17.5 grams of methamphetamine.

Information gathered during the sweep led to the execution of three search warrants and the seizure of $9,000 in cash, nearly 15 grams of crack cocaine and a firearm.

Sheriff Mike Roberson said in a release that the operation “was an important part of a working solution to the drug dilemma that is impacting our communities, but it was just one part.

“Treatment for the people who have been affected and the prevention of a new demand for illegal drugs, particularly with our children, are just as important,” the sheriff added. “They all require involvement from the entire community to be successful.”

Roberson said that local law enforcement was teaming with multiple county agencies in an attempt to “develop strategies” in areas of awareness, prevention, intervention and treatment of substance abuse.

The following suspects were arrested during the operation, according to authorities:

Stanly Watson Jr.

Maurice Swindell

Timothy Grinnell

Gabrielle Dowdy

James Watson

Frederick Williams

Kevin Squires

LaChadrick Lane

Kelvin Penny

Charles Washington

Martha Wilkins

Kerry Wright Sr.

Alexix Sibrian

Joretta Alston

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of any suspects still at large are asked to contact the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office.