CARTERET COUNTY - Two dozen people are arrested in a Carteret County undercover drug operation called "Operation Pill Crusher."
Deputies said for months now they've been targeting people who sell or use illegal prescription medications.
"To anyone who has sold prescription medication in Carteret County over the last several months, there's a chance we may be paying you a visit," Sheriff Asa Buck explained at a press conference on Thursday.
He said his message is clear stop selling drugs or go to jail. Although, the sheriff said they are just scratching the surface.
Deputies said several undercover officers made over 100 controlled purchases from over 100 drug dealers.
District Attorney Scott Thomas said if convicted the suspects will face mandatory prison time.
"The last thing we want to see is major targets indicted, arrested, have a low bond set and then be back out on the streets," he explained.
Thomas said the bonds of these suspects range from $50,000 to one million.
"More people die from overdose on prescription medication than on all other illegal drugs combined," Sheriff Buck said.
He said some of these suspects are first time offenders while others have a very lengthy criminal record.
"I want them to sit home and wonder when the knock at the door is going to come, because if we don't get them this time, we will get them the next time," Sheriff Buck explained.
The next phase of the operation is delivering warrants to other suspects they have on their radar.
The sheriff said they will do that over the next several weeks.