Several local law enforcement officers had their hands full Thursday morning as they began an inter-agency round-up of several Union County individuals involved in the drug trade.
Members of the New Albany/Union County Drug Task Force, in partnership with Union County sheriff’s department deputies, New Albany police officers, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics officers, as well as members of the U.S. Marshall’s fugitive task force worked together to execute 15 felony warrants for multiple counts of selling controlled substances early Thursday.
Union County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Jimmy Edwards said these arrests are the result of months of investigation.
“This is a joint effort that’s part of an eight-month investigation,” Edwards said. “It’s the result of some very good work by our people trying to get drugs off the streets in Union County.”
Officers began executing warrants at approximately 7 a.m. Thursday and by 9 a.m. had made five arrests.
In August 2009, the same type of inter-agency cooperation had resulted in the execution of some 50 warrants in Union, Pontotoc and Lee Counties. Edwards said the fact that this year’s operation is smaller is a good sign.
“These types of operations are very successful,” Edwards said. “We’ve obviously decreased the number from last year, which shows that we’re making progress.
“There will always be drugs on the streets, but as long as we keep working hard, and we get the cooperation of members of the public who will notify us when someone they know is selling drugs, we’ll keep things from getting bad here,” Edwards said.
He went on to say that he and other officers have noticed a new trend in drug sales for this area during this operation – the sale of prescription drugs.
“They’re getting more common among the younger generation,” Edwards said. “I guess they are just as addictive as drugs like cocaine, but it’s just interesting to see.”
One downward trend that Edwards said was good news is a decrease in methamphetamine.
“Since the law was passed that made requires a prescription purchase pseudoephedrine, we’ve seen some decline in meth labs and sales.”
Those arrested by 9 a.m. Thursday included Larry, Billy and James Bond, all of HWY 370 in the Pleasant Ridge area. Larry Bond was being held on a $50,000 bond, while his son Billy was held on a $25,000 bond. James Bond was being held with no bond, due to a former conviction of felony possession.
Also arrested were Jessica McCoy of HWY 178 West in Myrtle and Jacob Smith of HWY 15 South. Smith was being held on a $50,000 bond, while McCoy was held on a $25,000 bond.
According to New Albany Narcotics Officer Chris Glasson, more arrests were expected before the day’s end.