Dozens arrested in North Charleston drug bust - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Dozens arrested in North Charleston drug bust

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U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said Thursday that federal agents worked with community partners and churches to round up the suspects in the Charleston Farms neighborhood of North Charleston. (John Gaddy/WCIV) U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said Thursday that federal agents worked with community partners and churches to round up the suspects in the Charleston Farms neighborhood of North Charleston. (John Gaddy/WCIV)

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Federal agents, local law enforcement and community leaders working together in a North Charleston neighborhood have taken a huge step in healing troubled streets.

On the streets of Charleston Farms neighborhood, officials and residents say drugs were king -- until dozens of recent arrests cleared street corners of drug dealers.

"In a matter of seconds, we were usually buying crack cocaine from the men standing on the corners," said North Charleston narcotics unit investigator Brian Adams.

Officials have netted 24 arrests and plan to make another nine arrests in upcoming days.

South Carolina's top federal prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles, said Thursday that the dialog among concerned residents and law enforcement officials helped authorities identify specific focus areas for the investigation.

But officials say the community's resurrection does not stop with the arrests. Many of the men, may get a second change via a special rehabilitation program coined project STAND.

"We cant keep storing them away," said Apostle Levon Smalls of Christ Temple in North Charleston. "We've got to turn some of them around."

 "This is the first time we've ever looked at trying to rehabilitate someone we've been trying to get out of the community," said Dep. Chief Reggie Burgess with the North Charleston Police Department.

* The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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