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Delaware State Police charge 55 in Sussex County heroin operation

A multi-state joint operation leads to the indictment of 55 people in a Sussex County heroin operation.

So far 44 of the 55 have been arrested in the investigation which began in November 2020, and identified George Johnson as the leader of the organization.

Johnson is among nine still wanted, and two are awaiting extradition from Maryland.

“Operation Dawg House” saw the seizure of over 2.3 kilos and 2,500 logs of heroin with a street value of over $1.6 million.

"And these charges are commensurate with the severity of the defendants alleged conduct, and the scope of the crisis before us. We believe that the defendants comprise Sussex County's largest heroin supply network. A criminal enterprise that generated millions of dollars a year," said Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings.

The arrests also included 20 heroin and fentanyl mixture caplets, almost 6 grams of crack cocaine and cocaine, and 10 ecstasy doses.

Jennings says this multi-state operation is a life-saver.

"In the midst of an addiction epidemic that claims in Delaware more than 400 lives a year, and in which Delaware has consistently been among the three hardest states in the entire country this operation undoubtedly saved lives," said Jennings.

The arrests in “Operation Dawg House” include 232 felony charges and 38 misdemeanors with 121 felony charges and 3 misdemeanors still outstanding for two to be extradited from Maryland and nine people wanted.

Three motor vehicles, three handguns including one stolen with a removed serial number, and ammunition were also seized in “Operation Dawg House.”

DSP received help from the Maryland State Police, FBI, Ocean City Police, and other local and federal agencies.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.