SEDALIA, Mo. — “I’m very happy to hear when they catch drug dealers and people selling drugs,” that’s how Barbara Culver reacted after hearing federal agents broke up a suspected cocaine ring and took lots of guns off the streets of Sedalia on Thursday.
Authorities say the two-year investigation, called “Operation Coin Collector,” paid off in a big way. They tell FOX 4 that 37 people have now been indicted on federal charges of drug and firearm trafficking. Twenty-three of the suspects live in Sedalia.
“I’m glad they arrested all of them. I wish they get more, ” says longtime resident Stephen Goodwin. “I’m tired of all the illegal drugs. I think the crime comes from St. Louis to Columbia and now here in Sedalia.”
Investigators say the federal crackdown focused on significant violent crime and drug trafficking in Sedalia and several surrounding areas including: Warrensburg, Knob Knoster, Raytown and Blue Springs.
Further, the indictment alleges the suspects distributed more than one million dollars worth of crack cocaine, powdered cocaine, as well as illegal rifles and shotguns.
The suspects range from 19 to 55 years old.
“I think that’s a good thing and I appreciate the ATF,” Sedalia’s Police Chief John DeGonia said. “Of course, we know the drugs, the illegal guns and the violence will not end, but this will put a major dent in that illegal activity in the Sedalia area, and, I’m glad about it.”