Alabama Drug Enforcement Task Force Showing Success Across the State
In the three months since the Alabama Drug Enforcement Task Force was formed those involved say it has scored big.
Across the state of Alabama, 99 arrests, 172 criminal investigations launched, $2.1 million dollars worth of drugs off the streets and 100 firearms seized.
It also takes money to fund this fight. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs or ADECA administers $1.3 million in grants to cover the task force’s operational expenses, equipment purchases, training opportunities, overtime pay and travel.
Being able to partner across jurisdictions is the key to this new success.
“We aren’t kept to those jurisdictions anymore. With this new task force, we can follow the crime and continue the investigation,” said Major Terry Wood with the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office.
47 agencies; that’s 175 task force officers and in our area, Region D spans over 12 counties all, now, cooperating to zero in on suspected drug activity.
Our area, Region D, spans from Montgomery to the Georgia Line.
According to Cpt. Joe Herman with the State Bureau of Investigation, in the past 90 days, They’ve worked 29 cases, 8 subcases, identified 50 suspects, made 19 arrests on multiple charges and seized 10 firearms.
Cpt. Herman explains the drug task force does not target the drug user. They primarily target drug distributors and traffickers. Their focus: the source of supply.
In Region D, meth continues to be the dominant drug for drug traffickers, but they are also seeing an increase in heroin.
He adds the drug users are usually the victims of these people. But, during the course of their investigation, they do catch users as well.
They also add it’s not just drugs they are taking off the streets,but murderers as well. They are seizing illegal firearms that could be in the hands of someone wanting to do harm to someone else.
“When you have residents in a neighborhood and they call in and have a problem and they are saying some individuals are making it unsafe for their children to go out and play, we need to address that and this is one of the ways we can do that,” said Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones.
A track record they hope to continue with the task force dismantling drug trafficking organizations and reducing the violent crime which results from drug activity.