The Laurel Police Department on Thursday morning, while most of the city was still sleeping, swept up a dozen suspected drug dealers. Of the 12 arrests, LPD Narcotics Sgt. Vince Williams said only one of them had not been on the LPD radar or had not served time on drug charges.

At one residence, 25 grams of heroin — “that’s a lot of heroin for around here,” Williams said — and 25 grams of cocaine was found. At another, a man named Arthur Miller was arrested. He was on probation though the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

As readers of this paper will see in coming issues, the revolving door of arrests, incarcerations and releases is continuing to gain speed. Judge Dal Williamson used a recent court session to decry the actions of the MDOC, state Legislature and the parole board in allowing so many offenders to be released early.

We couldn’t agree more with Williamson. It must be terribly frustrating for every law enforcement agency, prosecutor and judge to see the same people appearing before them for similar crimes. There has to be a happy medium between antiquated mandatory minimum or truth-in-sentencing laws and allowing so many drains on society out early.

For the LPD officers such as Williams and those who were involved in the Thursday morning drug raid, the arrests of so many familiar people must be equally as frustrating. It’s like trying to empty Lake Pontchartrain with a tablespoon.

So a dozen more suspected drug dealers and users are off the streets of Laurel — and we should be happy about that. Sad, though, is that many of them will be out again soon, doing their old tricks and casting a dark light on the community.

A revolving door with no signs of slowing down.

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