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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Recent raids demonstrate local efforts to fight drugs

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Local law enforcement agencies are upholding their pledge to fight drugs in Clay County.

"If we have this many cases a year or a month from now, we will do this again," Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton told The Brazil Times after the Aug. 5, 2008 drug sweep which ultimately netted more than 40 suspects and had ties stemming back to another investigation and drug sweep in April 2006. "If you bury your head and think it's not happening, you're wrong. By no means are we done investigating drugs in this community. This is an ongoing investigation."

Since then, the Clay County Sheriff's Department has continued to investigate the manufacture, abuse and distribution of illegal drugs, along with various other ancillary crimes associated with drug abuse and sales in Clay County.

"As long as there are crimes related to drug activity, our investigations won't stop," Heaton said during a recent telephone interview.

Earlier Monday morning, members of CCSD, Indiana State Police and the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force along with law enforcement officials in Vigo and Owen counties hit the streets again around 6 a.m., to serve nine arrest warrants against suspects from the drug investigation that started more than a year ago.

Seven suspects were taken into custody Monday, while officials continued Tuesday to look for the remaining two.

Three suspects wanted for unrelated arrest warrants were also taken into custody Monday by participating law enforcement officers involved in the warrant sweep.

However, Heaton and Chief Deputy Rob Gambill told The Brazil Times that's not entirely an accurate number of arrests. During the year-long drug investigation, they confirmed more than 21 other suspects were arrested for more than 78 drug-related offenses including marijuana cultivation, manufacturing methamphetamine, dealing methamphetamine, possession of stolen property and many other miscellaneous criminal charges.

"This time, things were done a little differently and many suspects, for a variety of reasons, had to be arrested throughout the course of the year due to the nature of their crimes and potential crimes," Gambill said. "Typically in drug investigations, arrests aren't made immediately after the crime is committed, or the case is made, due to the fact many of the suspects have illegal business connections to other potential suspects and the early arrest of one suspect may preclude the successful investigation of other suspects."

However, Gambill said there are times when information is uncovered showing a suspect may prove to be an imminent threat to the public that changes the way an investigation proceeds.

"When that occurs, our ongoing investigation into that suspect and their associates is sacrificed and an immediate arrest is made," Gambill said. "This scenario played itself out a few times during the course of this investigation, and early arrests were frequent."

According to law enforcement officials, as quickly as they catch one person involved in the drug culture, another eagerly takes their place. Investigating leads and creating the framework of a solid drug case with the potential of a conviction is a lengthy, time-consuming process, but officials believe it's a worthwhile investment for the community.

"Everybody understands that it's a never-ending process, but as long as there are drugs out there we will continue to investigate. Our guys are out there investigating drug crimes, even today," Heaton said. "It's sad that law enforcement has to focus so much time and effort on drug investigations -- there's a lot of other things we'd like to focus on to help our community -- but we're not stopping. This is our job, and we're going to keep doing it."

Recent drug raids

During the past three years, law enforcement officials have been waging war on drugs in Clay County and kept jail officials busy at the Clay County Justice Center.

* On April 20, 2006, 21 suspects were initially arrested; with three more arrested the following weekend, during the drug sweep by more than 10 local, state and federal agencies.

* On Aug. 5, 2008, 40 suspects were arrested during the drug sweep in which more than 15 local, state and federal agencies participated.

* As a result of a year-long drug investigation, on Aug. 17, 2009, officials from more than five local, state and federal agencies arrested seven of nine suspects wanted on drug-related charges. Officials confirmed 21 other arrests were made as a result of the investigation throughout the past year.

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Keep up the good work, guys. It seems like it's a never ending battle trying to get the drugs off the streets.

-- Posted by th1953 on Thu, Aug 20, 2009, at 12:31 AM

Hats Off to these law enforcement guys, underpaid and overworked to take the drugs out of our community. Thank You, Thank you, Thank you

-- Posted by reddevil on Thu, Aug 20, 2009, at 9:34 AM

My hat's off to the CCSD and all involved for continuing the never-ending fight against drugs. Be safe and God bless.

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Thu, Aug 20, 2009, at 9:45 AM

Crime is a law enforcement officer's job security...LOL! Our's are going to be busy until they leave the force.

Keep up the good work and God bless you all!

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Thu, Aug 20, 2009, at 10:34 AM

Good job! Keep up the outstanding work!

-- Posted by tbdldam on Fri, Aug 21, 2009, at 3:01 PM

great job

-- Posted by 1dogbob on Wed, Aug 26, 2009, at 6:51 AM




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