Drug task force seizes $2 million

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Southwest Missouri Northwest Arkansas Drug Task Force seized over $2 million in drugs during 2006.

"The total amount of drug seizures and the street value of the drugs seized are up this year from last," said Larry Keen, Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas Drug Task Force deputy director. "The number of metham-phetamine labs seized are down this year."

The drug task force executed 69 controlled buys and 31 search warrants and busted 23 meth labs last year. Officers also conducted 82 knock and talks, which are performed when the task force does not have enough information for a search warrant. During a knock and talk, officers attempt to get consent to search a property.

Drug task force officers seized 34 weapons, six vehicles, one camper, one property and $62,573 in currency last year.

Drugs seized included: 2,153.5 grams of metham-phetamine; 254.9 grams of cocaine; 64.6 pounds of marijuana; 2,003 marijuana plants; and 145 tablets of prescription medication. The street value of all seized drugs totaled $2,207,244.

"We have a good infor-mation base," said Keen. "We maintain a good working relationship with all agencies in the task force, who supply us with good information."

The Southwest Missouri Northwest Arkansas Drug Task Force works with the Barry County, McDonald County and Carroll County (Ark.) sheriff's departments, and Monett, Anderson, Noel, Pineville, Pierce City, Exeter, Wheaton, Purdy, Washburn and Seligman police depart-ments.

The Barry County Sheriff's Department serves as the task force's parent agency, said Keen. Barry, McDonald and Carroll counties contribute to the task force's operating budget each year. Barry County voluntarily contributed $368,272 to the drug task force last year.

This year, after Carroll County joined the organization, the Southwest Missouri Drug Task Force changed its name to the Southwest Missouri Northwest Arkansas Drug Task Force. The organization has seven drug task force officers.

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