LINCOLNTON, N.C. -- The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office and federal officers have begun a large drug dealer roundup Thursday morning.

According to the police report, authorities started looking for 38 suspects around 5 a.m. Thursday morning and as of 9 a.m. had arrested 21 of the 38 people they are looking for.

(See the attached photos for a slideshow of those arrested)

The undercover operation began in the summer of 2011 by narcotics investigators with the Lincoln County Sheriff s Office. Most of the suspects were targeted and investigated based on tips received on the tip line from the community, according to the report.

Deputies said five U.S. Marshals are assisting with locating out of county suspects while Lincoln County deputies will work inside the county.

Narcotics investigators say the suspects were dealing everything from prescription drugs to marijuana, cocaine, and heroin.

Our team is continuing to make positive progress in combating the manufacture and sale of illicit drugs in our county by the proactive relationship with every agency in our region and we will continue to see the fruits of this hard work in the months to come, Lincoln County Sheriff David Carpenter said.

If anyone has information on any drug investigation they're asked to call Lincoln County Sheriff's Office tip line at 704-736-8422 or Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909.

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