Gwinnett County police arrested 14 people Friday after raiding three Buford houses linked with crack cocaine sales.
The houses at 85 New Street, 540 Gold Street and 4231 Hamilton Mill Road, are near day care centers and schools and two miles from the Hall County line.
A Buford resident tipped off police, and the Gwinnett County Police Special Investigations Section searched the houses Friday after a four-month investigation of suspected drug activity, Cpl. Edwin Ritter said.
"Our special investigations section received a couple of tips from individuals living in Buford," he said. "During the course of the investigation, they purchased crack cocaine from various individuals and developed probable cause to obtain search warrants."
Officers took nine separate arrest warrants to the raids at 10:30 a.m. and left the homes around 1 p.m. with 14 people in custody. One arrest warrant wasn't served; that person remains at large, Ritter said.
Gwinnett police had not released the 14 names and charges as of Friday night.
Officers found narcotics and guns at the three residences. Though the investigators had to use an explosive device to enter a barricaded home and a helicopter to track any runaway suspects, the raids went as planned.
"We knew we were going to have to breach the door at the New Street residence and came prepared for the most likely scenario," Ritter said. "We received information that there were guns in each room, and it was heavily fortified with several commercial-grade bolt locks."
The team always uses a helicopter crew overhead during high-risk search warrants, and though a few suspects attempted to run at the Gold Street location, officers "quickly subdued" them, Ritter said.
Hall County residents weren't involved in the drug operations, but Ritter is asking everyone on the county border to remain aware as customers may have come from Hall.
"Most people who live in the area have been residents for a long time. They grew up there and know who's new and who deals drugs. We rely heavily on their information," he said. "Keep a close eye on your neighborhood. When you look at the home on Hamilton Mill, you wouldn't know. It's been there a long time and looks well-maintained. Pay close attention to suspicious vehicles and a lot of traffic."