Officials say gang arrests won't impact LEC

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, November 15, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga. --- There were 71 arrests Wednesday in the largest undercover operation in Richmond County history.

"The biggest impact we have was processing and booking the people," Capt. Gene Johnson said.

Even though a large number of people were arrested, Capt. Gene Johnson said its not going to be a problem at the Richmond County Jail.

"Today, we don't have but 186 sleeping on the floor today, which is down from what we had before we were 300 or more," Capt. Johnson said.

The jail capacity is 910 inmates. Capt. Johnson said currently, they have 1,174.

"Oh yeah. It's overcrowded. That's an everyday thing," Capt Johnson said.

Lt. Scott Peebles said jail overcrowding is not going to be a huge issue because 53 of the 71 people arrested Wednesday are now in federal custody.

"Since we are not a federal holding facility, those inmates, some have already been taken to and the rest will be taken to federal holding facilities, other jails throughout the area that have contracts with the federal government," Lt. Peebles said.

Lt. Peebles said 18 suspects were arrested on state charges and the ones who aren't juveniles will be housed at the Law Enforcement Center.

"The jail is overcrowded now, but yesterday's operation is not really going to have a significant impact on that status," Lt. Peebles said.

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