FRACKVILLE - Nine people were arraigned Tuesday on drug charges after an investigation of several months by the Schuylkill County sheriff's department, the district attorney's office and the Schuylkill County Drug Task Force.

The latest sweep encompassed Tremont, Ashland, Gordon and Girardville, and charges included possessing and selling prescription pain medication and marijuana.

In addition, an Ashland man was arraigned on charges of theft from a motor vehicle in the same crime sweep.

All 10 were arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Bernadette J. Nahas, Frackville, and received 10 percent of $15,000 bail.

Schuylkill County Sheriff Joseph Groody said the latest roundup, the fourth in six months, is just another step in trying to get the drug problem under control in Schuylkill County.

"We are going to continue to do these raids and keep investigating," Groody said Tuesday. "We are never going to get everybody but we are trying to get it under control."

Groody said he believes the raids have turned up more people selling prescription pain medication than in the past.

"A lot of people are addicted to these pills," Groody said. "Also, a lot of parents are being more cooperative with us. I tell them it is better if their son or daughter is incarcerated since you can visit them. If they overdose on pain pills, you can't see them anymore."

Groody commended the district attorney's office and the drug task force for their work.

All 10 defendants arraigned Tuesday were charged after separate incidents.

Those charged, the charges against them and the incidents for which they were charged were:

- Stephen Zendrosky, 21, of 1034 Centre St., Ashland: delivery of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance; incarcerated. Stephen Zendrosky was charged after an incident July 29, during which a confidential informant purchased $60 worth of OxyContin from him.

- Erik Zendrosky, 23, of 1034 Centre St., Ashland; delivery of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance; free on bail. Erik Zendrosky was charged after an incident July 27, during which a confidential informant purchased $120 worth of Oxycodone from him.

- Mark N. Zimmerman, 32, of 723 Centre St., Ashland: delivery of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance; incarcerated. Zimmerman was charged after an incident Sept. 24 during which a confidential informant purchased $60 worth of OxyContin.

- Dana Walentukonis, 33, of 115 N. John St., Girardville: delivery of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance: incarcerated. Walentukonis was charged after an incident Sept. 29, during which a confidential informant purchased $50 worth of Vicodin from Walentukonis.

- Robert W. Merwine, 22, of 611 Hobart St., Gordon: delivery of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance: free on bail. Merwine was charged after an incident Aug. 22, during which a police officer and a confidential informant purchased $30 worth of marijuana.

- Mark A. Billus Jr., 23, of 1017 Brock St., Ashland: delivery of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance: free on bail. Billus was charged after an incident Sept. 2, during which a confidential informant purchased $25 worth of Percocet from Billus.

- Brian Keith Donner, 25, of 935 Centre St., Ashland: possession of marijuana, possession of a small amount of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia: incarcerated. Donner was charged after an incident June 2, during which an Ashland police officer saw drug paraphernalia in Donner's apartment.

- Seini N. Gustitus, 22, of 229 W. Laurel St., Tremont: delivery of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance: incarcerated. Gustitus was charged after an incident Oct. 17, during which police said he $100 worth of OxyContin to a confidential informant.

- Damien Zimnicki, 28, last known address of West Laurel St., Tremont: delivery of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance: incarcerated. Zimnicki was charged after an incident Sept. 29, during which he sold $30 worth of Percocet to a police officer.

- Ryan Edward Clews, 20, of 1139 Arch St., Ashland: theft from a motor vehicle. Clews was charged after an incident Sept. 16, during which police suspect Clews entered a vehicle owned by Andrew Fetterolf and took $60 in cash, six pills from a bottle in the name of Andrew Fetterolf, six pills of Hydroco, and a wallet owned by Michael Herb with $50 in cash and his driver's license.