A major counter-drug operation is under way in and around Bennington. More than 100 officers are taking 63 alleged suspects into custody. (Neil
A major counter-drug operation is under way in and around Bennington. More than 100 officers are taking 63 alleged suspects into custody. (Neil Goswami/Bennington Banner)
Wednesday January 16, 2013

BENNINGTON - More than 100 local, state and federal law enforcement officers are taking part in a massive drug sweep in and around Bennington targeting 63 individuals.

Teams of police began fanning out throughout the area early Wednesday morning in tactical gear. A Vermont State Police mobile command unit at the Bennington Firehouse is dispatching teams.

"The Vermont State Police are pleased to be coordinating with multiple state, local, county, and federal agencies to combat the growing drug problem in southern Vermont," said Colonel Tom L'Esperance, director of the Vermont State Police.

Police are planning a 2 p.m. press conference to update the public on what police have called "Operation County Strike." The sweep is believed to be one of the largest drug sweeps in the state's history.

Arraignment hearings are expected to take place in Bennington County Superior Court Criminal Division throughout the day, according to court clerks.

Check the Banner's Facebook page and Twitter account (@Banner_News) for updates throughout the day. A full story will appear in Thursday's edition of the Banner.