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Our View: Busted drug ring a wake up call

We applaud this week’s news that local and federal law enforcement agencies were able to disrupt an alleged crack-dealing ring.

The destructive effects crack cocaine has on communities are well-documented.

The drug is relatively cheap, potent and highly addictive. It can make people addicts relatively quickly, reducing their list of daily concerns to finding their next “fix.”

Sometimes addicts turn to petty crimes such as theft or burglary, or more serious crimes such as armed robbery, to feed their addiction.

We don’t want crack, the gang members who often supply it, or the accompanying problems it brings in our communities.

The months-long drug investigation, led by DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott’s office in collaboration with DeKalb police and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, resulted in 13 arrests; federal marshals were searching for two of the three Chicago-based ringleaders still wanted Wednesday.

All of those arrested are presumed innocent until proven guilty; all face prison time if convicted.

Police say they have removed a source of a highly addictive illegal drug from the streets, which is great news for our community.

The investigation also is a credit to local law enforcement, who we count on to defend our towns against these types of social ills.

It should also serve as a wake-up call to people who think that crack, heroin and other nefarious drugs are not bought, sold and used here in DeKalb County.

Our community’s proximity to Chicago and its small-town feel might make it seem like the ideal place for a drug dealer looking to peddle their product.

This week, at least, local police showed that is not necessarily the case.

As Scott said, the hope is that successful drug investigations such as these will lead to a decline in drug activity and convince drug dealers from larger nearby cities to look elsewhere.

In the short term, that might happen. But the money to be made in selling illegal drugs virtually guarantees that enterprising criminals inevitably will be interested in setting up shop here.

When they do, here’s hoping it won’t last long.

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