SPOKANE, Wash. -- Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich is proud of the efforts made by his office and the police department.
Spokane County worked with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Los Angeles Police Department to bust up a widespread oxycontin ring.
The Spokane Regional Drug Task Force executed 16 searches according to DEA agents. Authorities search buildings at 14th and Raymond, Lacey and Indiana, Buckeye and Cuba, Olympic and Cincinnati and West 1st and Washington.
The oxycontin sweep resulted in 41 people being taken into custody between the two states. Twelve of those suspects were found in Spokane according to a DEA press release.
The significance of Spokane County's role can be seen in the number of search warrants and arrests made locally. Almost a third of the entire sweep was done here. The connection between Spokane and California isn't anything new when it comes to drug operations.
"That's why this operation is an example of the great work that the Spokane County Sheriff's Office and the Spokane Police Department have done with our federal partners in order to disrupt the gang and drug activity in our community," said Sheriff Knezovich.
There's been a a change over time in the meaning of gangs and the sheriff wants the public to realize their changing role.
"When people think about gangs, they think kids standing on the street corner throwing up signs. Gangs are an organized crime," says Sheriff Knezovich.
The sheriff also said he appreciated the work of other agencies. There were more than 20 involved in all for this operation.