KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Blount County Sheriff’s Office arrested two Rockford individuals for drug charges Thursday following a joint investigation between the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Joshua Derek Thomas, 34, of Rockford, was charged with possession of a Schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine) for resale and possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. He is being held on bonds totaling $150,000 pending a hearing. Darlene Renee Thomas, 56, of Rockford, was charged with possession of a Schedule II controlled substance (oxycodone) for resale. She is being held on bonds totaling $40,000 pending a hearing. Both are charged with maintaining a dwelling where drugs are used or sold.

The arrests came at the end of a monthlong covert operation into activity at Thomas’ residence on Beacon Way. The Fifth Judicial District Drug Task Force and TBI ran the investigation and the Sheriff’s Office SWAT team assisted with serving the search warrant of the home. In the home, over 10 ounces of crystal methamphetamine, numerous prescription narcotics, and two handguns. In addition, $3,100 was seized by investigators.

The sheriff’s office also reports that two children, ages 7 and 4, were removed from the home by the Department of Children’s Services. The Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Investigations Unit is continuing its investigation into the neglect of the children, and additional charges could be forthcoming.

“Now more than ever, our narcotics investigators are remaining aggressive in pursuing individuals who participate in the illicit drug trade in Blount County,” Sheriff Berrong said. “The number of people overdosing in our community is at an all-time high. As of the end of September, we have seen 334 overdoses countywide, with 51 of them resulting in death. This is an increase of 239 overdoses for the entire year in 2021. This is unacceptable, and we will continue to work with TBI and other agencies to stop the flow of these illicit drugs into our community.”

The Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force is made up of deputies and officers with the Blount County Sheriff’s Office, Maryville Police Department, and Alcoa Police Department.