Three Lake County men accused of dealing heroin received their Thursday morning wake-up call from area police.
The Northwest Regional SWAT team, Drug Enforcement Administration and Schererville police participated in the operation to serve arrest warrants for Pece Petrovski, Nicholas Rosenbaum and John Skowronski.
The situation attracted many onlookers as officers surrounded each of the men's residences to make the arrests early Thursday.
None of the men resisted police, but Skowronski, 22, repeatedly insisted he is not a drug dealer. He didn't have heroin when he was arrested at his home in the 7400 block of Taylor Street in Schererville, police said.
"I don't sell heroin, officer," he told police, "I'm not lying."
While escorted to a squad car, Skowronski said "this is some bull crap, dude."
Rosenbaum, 31, was taken into custody at his home on 43rd Street in Highland. Petrovski, 39, of Schererville, was arrested in the 4000 block of 73rd Avenue in Merrillville.
Skowronski was charged with four counts of dealing a narcotic drug. Petrovski faces three counts of dealing a narcotic drug, and Rosenbaum was charged with one count of dealing a narcotic drug.
Police might seek additional charges against Petrovski, Schererville police Detective Jeff Cook said.
Each of the men are accused of selling heroin to an undercover officer, Schererville police Cmdr. Brian Neyhart said.
Court documents state Petrovski sold heroin to a confidential police source and an undercover officer April 26, 27 and 30. On April 30, Petrovski allegedly made the drug deal in a Schererville park in which children were present.
Skowronski and Rosenbaum were involved in a heroin deal March 28 near Merkley Elementary School in Highland while students were on the school property, according to court documents.
Skowronski also is accused of selling heroin to the undercover officer April 1, 9 and 16. The April 1 deal also occurred near Merkley while school was in session, the documents state.
Neyhart said the investigation and arrests were a result of Schererville's special operations task force, which is focusing on drug activity.
"This is a problem and we're trying to tackle it," Neyhart said.