MIDDLESBORO, Ky. (WYMT) - Middlesboro Police arrested seven people on drug charges and some include trafficking near a school.
Investigators say the arrests follow a lengthy undercover investigation.
Middlesboro Police say at least three people were dealing drugs not far from the Middlesboro Board of Education Building where some classes are held.
"Trafficking anywhere near a school, we look at those as a priority," said Tom Busic with the Middlesboro Police Department.
"Anytime you have drug dealing going on in a place where children are, you've got to be more concerned," said Middlesboro Police Chief Jeffrey Sharpe.
Police arrested 31-year-old Michael Earle, 31-year-old Billy Earle, and 49-year-old Gerald Ayers on charges of trafficking within one thousand feet of a school.
"Maybe the fact that a guy is dealing near a school doesn't have anything to do with the kids, but even the slightest risk children are going to be exposed to drug trafficking or drug addicts or drug paraphernalia is a serious matter," said Sharpe.
Police also made four other arrests in unrelated drug cases that came from the same undercover investigation. 45-year-old Emanuel Hall, 47-year-old Joseph Buska, and 69-year-old Ely "Cowboy" Hembree are charged with trafficking a controlled substance. 20-year-old Travis Seals is charged with trafficking marijuana.
Police say many of the drug arrests came from tips from the community.
"I think you could truthfully says that almost virtually every case we make originated with a tip from the community," said Sharpe.
Anyone who wants to report a tip can all 606-248-3636. All tips can remain confidential.