Jackson County Times

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

JCSO, Sheriff Roberts, and Drug Task Force Are Working to Disrupt Drug Pipelines

Chrystal Meth, Crack Cocaine, Cocaine, and Marijuana are all for sale in Jackson County….not far from where you live.

By Sid Riley

“The sale of drugs is a never ending, always present problem and threat to our society here in Jackson County,” states Sheriff Lou Roberts. “It is just like trying to exterminate a fire ant bed in your yard. You attack it at one location, and in a few weeks you see it re-emerge at another nearby spot, just as bad, just as threatening.” Those were the frankly spoken words of our Sheriff as this author met with Roberts and Captain Joey Rabon, the head of our Jackson County Drug Task Force.

“Meth is the newest, easiest to attain, and most addictive of all the illicit drugs we are dealing with in our area,” Rabon explained. “In attacking the inflow of drugs into Jackson County we use a three pronged attack. We use undercover informants, traffic detection, and interdiction in pipeline flow based on use of coordinated information and work from all area law enforcement.”

Roberts stated that generally meth is found more among the white population, while crack cocaine is more widespread in minority communities. Cocaine and Marijuana are found in all communities. One aspect of Chrystal meth which is different than all of the other drugs is the financial aspects related to its presence. With all of the other drugs there is a “pipeline” which is used to deliver the cocaine or marijuana from another far away location, usually another country. The drugs are produced in bulk, and transported in larger quantities to a distribution point, where street dealers obtain their supplies, and then they sell to local users. At each step in this process a financial transaction takes place which yields the pipeline participants lucrative profits. Thus when they are apprehended it is not uncommon for large stashes of cash, automobiles, and other luxury items purchased with drug monies to be confiscated at the time of arrest.

However, with meth it is different. The producers are usually the users. They locally purchase the readily available ingredients and follow the mixing and “cooking” recipe, and behold….they have the drugs they need to feed their habit. Often the cost is only $10 or $20 dollars for a good supply.

“Since Jackson County is such a rural, spread out county, it is an ideal setting for these meth addicts to operate. They can find some remote spot to produce their meth and have little fear of a neighbor detecting the odors, or observing their behavior. Often they live in complete squalor and filth, oblivious to their conditions…only working to stay high and feed their uncontrollable addiction. Usually they are so mentally wiped out it is impossible to reason or even talk with them,” explains Rabon. “Sadly, often there are children also in the environment, watching their parents waste away. Additionally, the process of ‘cooking’ the meth is dangerous, and they are exposed to that situation. By far, this new drug is the worse of all of these illegal scourges on our society.”

So, we see that the apprehension of the street level users by local municipal police is important and beneficial in our total local drug wars. Their participation in the cooperative effort within the Drug Task Force is also important. However, this function within the JCSO which generally works to catch the participants further up the pipeline. Often these cases take years to develop and garner the body of evidence needed to create a conviction.

Rabon and Roberts feel proud of three major arrests of key area distributors in our area over the past three years. These were Michael Jackson, Franklin Holden, and most recently, Windell Peterson who was apprehended last week for selling cocaine near Dellwood.

So the battle against these evils continues….right in the middle of our lives, our children, and our grandchildren. We should all do anything we can to assist our law enforcement officials as they work continually to keep this very real danger out of our environment.

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