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Major drug bust results in 12 arrests

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Major drug bust results in 12 arrests
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A crackdown on prescription drug abuse has filled the Franklin County Jail. Authorities announced a dozen arrests Wednesday, most involving legally obtained prescription drugs that were being sold illegally. Barry Wygel has more on the arrests and the bigger issue police are trying to fight.

MALONE, N.Y. -- An eight month investigation has ended with 12 arrests in Franklin County. Most of the arrests involved prescription drugs.

"There's a trend in the Malone area where individuals who are on public assistance are receiving prescription medications, that in turn, some have decided that the sale of those medications is something they are going to engage in," said Major Richard Smith, New York State Police Troop B Commander.

The pills being sold ranged in street value from a couple dollars to $40 a pill. The most expensive being Soboxone, a drug prescribed to people to try and break a drug addiction.

"What I've found is a lot of them have to have drug tests to see if it's in their system, so two to three days before the drug test, they'll go out and buy some to make it look like they are taking their prescription," said Chief Chris Premo of the Malone Police Department.

The suspects are being held in Franklin County Jail, where Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill says 85 to 90 percent of the inmates are there from drug related crimes.

"A lot of what we are dealing with now, if it's not specifically drug related, then it's an attempt to get money for drugs and I think that covers a large percentage of what we have in the correctional facility," said Franklin County Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill.

Police say it's everyone's responsibility to keep their prescription drugs out of the wrong hands.

"Once you're done with that drug, you need to dispose of it, you need to get it out of the house," said Mulverhill.

"It's very important that parents understand that prescription medications that are lawfully possessed can be the drug that individuals are getting arrested for on very serious felony charges," said Smith.

The people arrested Wednesday will most likely be transferred to other facilities since the Franklin County Jail is over capacity.

Police offer anonymous drug drop boxes, where people can discard prescription drugs with no questions asked. For more information, contact your local police department.

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