COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - South Carolina state police say they've arrested 18 people in a massive heroin bust.
The State Law Enforcement Division on Thursday announced the arrests they say are part of a yearlong investigation known as "Operation Black Poppy."
Authorities say state, local and federal law officers have investigated at least three heroin cells in the Columbia, Myrtle Beach and Charleston areas. Since September 2009, SLED says a Mexican drug cartel has imported and distributed more than $5.5 million worth of heroin in South Carolina, mostly packaged in balloons.
SLED Chief Reggie Lloyd says more arrests are expected.
News Ten's Jody Barr rode along with officers during the Wednesday morning sweep. Tune into WIS News at 5, 6 and 7 for a full report.