The DeKalb County (Ala.) Drug and Major Crimes Unit has worked diligently to make 2016 as successful as possible. DeKalb County faces a variety of drug problems, the most prevalent of that being methamphetamine.
The task force is comprised of full-time and part-time agents from the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, Fort Payne Police Department and DeKalb County District Attorney’s office. The unit is governed by a board represented by Sheriff Jimmy Harris, chairman of the board, Police Chief Randy Bynum and District Attorney Mike O’Dell. Chief Deputy Michael Edmondson, who is also the commander of the task force, oversees the daily operations.
Agents work around the clock in conjunction with all other law enforcement agencies in DeKalb County to combat illegal drugs and drug activity. The task force was formed with the goals of reducing the level of drug trafficking and the availability of illegal drugs in the county and of making a substantial impact on violence and property crimes linked with drugs. It strives to develop leads and gain crucial information on individuals and groups involved in drug trafficking and manufacturing in this area.
The task force works alongside several federal agencies, including the Organized Crime Drug Task Force, sharing intelligence and gathering information concerning cartels that are operating in the area with reaches beyond local jurisdiction.
In 2016, DeKalb County Drug and Major Crimes Unit agents continued investigations into ongoing cases from the year before and opened 417 new ones. Arrest numbers for the task force in 2016 include 12 arrests for trafficking, 17 for manufacturing and 530 for possession of controlled substance. The overwhelming majority of these arrests are related to methamphetamine. Due to the circumstances surrounding certain crimes, 23 of these defendants are also facing federal charges.
With these investigations and arrests, numerous drugs have been seized. Last year, 3,785.5 grams (or 8.35 pounds) of methamphetamine were confiscated, along with 159.5 grams of spice, 332.3 grams of marijuana and 44 plants, 18 grams of cocaine, 4 grams of heroin and 3,430 pills. The task force conducted 20 search warrants throughout the year in various areas of the county. While executing these search warrants and arrests, 39 guns, four vehicles, and over $46,000 in illegal drug money have been seized.
DeKalb County residents are strongly encouraged to report any suspicious drug activity by calling the sheriff’s office at( 256) 845-3801 or visiting dekalbcountysheriff.org. Tips can be left anonymously and are always kept confidential.
Any information shared with the task force is analyzed and investigated, which can be a lengthy process depending upon the situation. Concerned citizens who take the time to get involved are invaluable in combating illegal narcotics in DeKalb County. With your help, the DeKalb County Drug and Major Crimes Unit is hopeful it can make a substantial impact on local drug activity. The task force works for and with the citizens to keep the community a safe place to live and raise a family.
The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department makes these statistics available to keep the community informed of progress.