Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office has added two new sergeants to the department to work in specific areas — drug and human trafficking interdiction and crimes against children.
Sgt. Harry Washington came to Hopkins County from Hunt County Sheriff’s Department where he has been responsible for a successful interdiction program for many years
Since coming onboard with Hopkins County, Sheriff Lewis Tatum says that Sgt. Washington’s interdiction efforts have been very successful.
“In the time he has been here, he has collected over $270,000,” Tatum said. “We’ve found a large amount of drugs, stolen weapons, arrested a man wanted for murder in a northeastern state, parole violators from other areas —I mean it’s just numerous things he has found since he has been on board here. We are blessed to have him.”
Although the department has more than a quarter-million dollars in seized cash, that money cannot be utilized until it is forfeited to the county in a civil court procedure.
“If the money is awarded to the county, it will be split up between us and the district attorney’s office,” the sheriff said.
The criminal charge that goes along with the cash seizures is termed “money laundering,” a charge used in connection with drug trafficking or suspected drug trafficking.
“That’s part of the probable cause for taking the money,” Tatum said. “You have to prove this is being used in trafficking of narcotics and I consider Sgt. Washington to be an expert in that field. I feel very fortunate to have his expertise here.”
Washington will also be training our officers, and one that will begin working with him May 1,” he said. “We are going to purchase a canine that will be good for narcotics and for tracking. We are real excited about that.”
It has been several years since the sheriff’s department has had a canine and Sheriff Tatum said he thinks it will be a good asset for Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office.
The other new Sergeant at the Sheriff’s Department is Amanda Weatherford. Sgt. Weatherford had worked previously for the sheriff’s department before moving to Sulphur Springs Police Department where she worked her way up from being a patrol officer to becoming a patrol Sergeant.
While at the police department Sgt. Weatherford, working with her husband, Sheriff’s Investigations Sgt. Corley Weatherford, in investigating and making arrests in cases involving online solicitation of minors, sexual abuse of a child and child pornography.
“We’ve been working with her for years in online solicitation of minors in a joint operation with the police department,” Sheriff Tatum said. “That’s really going to help us out with her seniority and experience.”