Armed with arrest warrants, law enforcement officers of a multi-agency task force spread out across Cooper and Delta County early Wednesday, taking 13 people into custody at the culmination of a lengthy undercover drug investigation.
Delta County Sheriff Ricky Smith said 30 arrest warrants naming 19 individuals were issued following a four-month effort aimed at Delta County drug dealers.
Smith said two other individuals were arrested earlier, bringing the total defendant count to 21 as a result of the task force effort.
Additionally, one home was seized along with more than $3,300 in cash as a result of the sweep.
The Delta County sheriff said he and his staff had identified and confirmed a “substantial problem with certain individuals involved in the illicit drug trade.”
The sheriff's department and Sulphur Springs-Hopkins County Special Crimes Unit investigators were able to identify 21 people suspected of drug trafficking, and, as the result of that investigation, 30 arrest warrants were issued for offenses ranging from the sale of marijuana and methamphetamine to the sale of hydrocodone.
Here is a breakdown of the arrest warrants:
n/ 15 warrants for felony delivery of a controlled substance;
n/ Nine warrants for felony delivery of marijuana;
n/ Four warrants for felony engaging in organized criminal activity;
n/ One warrant for misdemeanor delivery of marijuana;
n/ One warrant for misdemeanor theft.
Sheriff Smith said the drug sweep would not have been possible without help.
“The Delta County Sheriff's Office began planning the operation with Hopkins County Sheriff Butch Adams, Sulphur Springs Chief of Police Jim Bayuk, the Hopkins County Special Crimes Unit and the district attorney's office in early January,” he said. “Our focus was to bring undercover agents into Delta County to address our growing drug problem. Our undercover effort began in approximately mid-January and concluded with the arrests made today. The sting was very successful, and we were able to target several street level drug dealers.”
Smith said that while it may be impossible to totally stop the flow of illegal drugs in Delta County, his office has adopted a “zero tolerance” policy on drugs, which means charges will be filed in every case on any amount of drugs found in someone's possession.
“If you mess with drugs in Delta County, be prepared to go to jail,” the sheriff said.
Special Crimes Unit officers, Hopkins County officers and Sulphur Springs police officers assisted in the raid, along with the Delta County constable, state troopers, game warden and the U. S. marshal's office.
“We could not have been this successful without the help of the Hopkins County Special Crimes Unit. I want to personally thank the Special Crimes Unit, Chief Jim Bayuk, Sheriff Butch Adams, the City of Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County for their assistance is this effort,” Smith said. “We have found that drugs tend to flow between our counties and this effort will not only help deter drugs in Delta County but in Hopkins County as well.”
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