32 arrested in ‘Operation Open Air’ Orange County drug sweep

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A major drug sweep involving police agencies nationwide has resulted in dozens of people facing charges in Orange County.



Authorities announced Thursday that "Operation Open Air" resulted in the arrests of 32 people who were allegedly peddling drugs on local streets. Police said the drugs seized have a street value of more than $50,000. A stolen semiautomatic handgun and a loaded revolver were also recovered in the sweep.



Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler, who was flanked by police chiefs from 10 departments across the country, said while the people charged in the monthslong probe may have known each other, they weren't necessarily working together to sell drugs.



The drugs involved included heroin, cocaine, marijuana, hydrocodone and other prescription medications. The drug sales allegedly occurred in the open throughout Orange County, and in at least three instances the sales were near schools in communities such as Monroe.



The news has left locals upset. "I grew up here in this house," Geri DeAngelis said as she motioned to a home in Monroe. "It was the nicest street in Monroe."



Port Jervis Police Chief William Worden believes Operation Open Air has helped stem the flow of drugs into the city. "We're confident that we have strong cases," he said. "That we are going to see some justice here for our residents."


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