Dozens of people were arrested over the last 10 months in a joint operation by Virginia authorities in the Richmond Highway corridor, including 30 arrests early Thursday morning as a part of a sweeping execution of dozens of warrants.
Police from Fairfax and Prince William counties, as well as the Virginia State police, cooperated across jurisdictions by focusing their attention on Richmond Highway, stretching from lower Alexandria to the Woodbridge area.
Their efforts, which lasted four months longer than authorities had planned, resulted in the arrest of at least 101 suspects and 168 criminal charges, more than half for drug-related offenses.
Warrants took officers to places like the Dollar Depot, located at 7858 Route One, where officers searched for counterfeit merchandise, such as DVDs.
The area contains two police districts that experience a high frequency of emergency calls: Franconia and Mt. Vernon, according to 1st Lt. David Smith, assistant commander of Fairfax County's criminal intelligence division.
"They are busy stations in our district," Smith said. "Notoriously busy."
Authorities worked with neighborhood police in those districts to identify nuisance crimes that plague the residents along the Richmond Highway corridor, according to Smith.
Most charges are drug related, but the catch-all crime sweep netted other arrests, such as a murder-for-hire scheme in May that resulted in the arrests of a Prince William County corrections officer and a Woodbridge man.
"With violent people, when we came across that, we didn't wait and leave that out in the community," Smith said.
Most other offenses were property crimes. As of Thursday, the 10-month investigation recovered more than $560,000 in cash, 23 guns and stolen property such as iPods and gift cards, and 1,500 stolen pills. Officers also recovered 10 pounds of cocaine -- valued at roughly $150,000, according to Smith -- and 30 pounds of marijuana.
"These might not be the most high profile drug dealers in the county, but it's important to people," Smith said.