Negev Police arrested 34 people in early morning raids across Beersheba on Wednesday after an undercover officer disrupted a network of heroin dealers who operated out of the city's outdoor market. Some 240 officers took part in the operation. The undercover agent, identified only as F-Sgt. V.M., spent close to a year buying heroin from dealers, and succeeded in gathering incriminating evidence against 41 suspects. He was given an award for his work and bravery by Southern District head Cmdr. Yochanan Danino, in a ceremony held shortly before police pounced on the dealers. Danino said the Negev subdistrict's effective anti-drug operation would contribute to bringing crime down in the area as a whole. Police said the undercover agent was a fresh recruit who had only recently joined Negev Police's Central Unit. In 2008, Negev Police used six undercover agents to arrest 238 drug dealers.