October 22, 2005
NORFOLK, Va. -- A three month police investigation of street dealing led to the drug arrests and indictments of nearly 200 people.
The 195 suspects arrested or accused under Operation Triple Play have swelled the city's already crowded jail to a record high _ 1,840. The jail is rated for 833 prisoners but has long held many more.
"We have 1,537 beds," sheriff's department spokeswoman Bonita Harris wrote in an e-mail to The Virginian-Pilot. "The rest are on portable stacker bunks with mattresses on the floor; and now, we're close to running out of space."
The city also houses 250 prisoners at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth.
During the raids last week, police seized four vehicles, 16 weapons and drugs such as cocaine, heroin and marijuana with a street value of $113,000, authorities said.
"It doesn't stop here. This is the beginning," said Lt. Steven Gallagher, executive officer of Norfolk's Vice and Narcotics Squad.