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Amherst County Sheriff's Department conducting mass arrests

December 17, 2012|WDBJ7 Web Staff

AMHERST CO., Va. — According to the Amherst County Sheriff's Office, 77 suspects have been arrested.

Deputies are still trying to track down 32 other suspects.


More than 100 people in Amherst County got an unwelcome wake up call Sunday morning.

Sunday alone the Amherst County Sheriff's Office will arrest 111 people facing 243 charges total.

It's part a program the department calls Operation Avalanche.

All people arrested will appear before a magistrate to have bonds set Sunday.

The indictments are from the county's Grand Jury that met earlier this month.

Here is the full press release from the department:

Operation Avalanche has begun today with an onslaught of arrests of those in the drug trade in Amherst County.

A number of Central Virginia residents are waking up today to the knocks of law enforcement officers. They are facing arrest today as the Amherst Sheriff’s Office is beginning to round up those recently indicted by the Multi Jurisdictional Grand Jury. A total of 111 individuals are facing 243 charges.

On December 7th, the grand jury, which met in Bedford, indicted many of these people and issued sealed indictments. The indictments are being served today as they are being arrested and booked.

This operation also includes 11 persons who have already been charged as a part of this operation and are currently awaiting trial in Amherst. Many of these were taken into custody during surveillance operations. Additionally three search warrants were executed as a result of the overall Operation Avalanche.

Two male juveniles are also being charged on juvenile petitions for distribution of marijuana within this operation.


The individuals being arrested today will be taken before a magistrate where bonds will be set. They will later appear before the Amherst County Circuit Court to have their trial dates set.

Since the felony charges were made by direct indictment, rather than on an arrest warrant, they will go straight to trial in Circuit Court.

A direct indictment is when an investigator appears before a grand jury and charges someone rather than appearing before a magistrate to obtain a warrant.

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