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Drug task force honors members

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Members of the Alabama Drug Enforcement Task Force (ADETF) from around the state gathered Thursday, Jan. 11 at the State Capitol to participate in a ceremony honoring members of the newly-created Alabama Drug Enforcement Task Force. In attendance were Chambers County Sheriff Sid Lockhart and Lanett Police Chief Angie Spates.

The ADETF’s mission is to share resources and intelligence to dismantle drug trafficking operations and fight violent crime.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) worked together in conjunction with law enforcement agencies from around the state to establish this statewide program in Oct. 2017. Gov. Kay Ivey announced the task force in a Nov. 2017 news release.

Hal Taylor, ALEA’s Secretary of Law Enforcement, has been pleased with the task force’s early progress.

“It’ not just drugs,” he said. “You will be taking murderers off the streets. You’ll take guns off the streets. What this task force will do will be so good for the state.”

ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said, “I commend those law enforcement officers who have agreed to become part of the Alabama Drug Enforcement Task Force and the commitment and sacrifices they make in carrying out their duties. ADECA is proud to be a part to this process that will take drugs out of our communities and will make our streets safer.”

The ADETF currently comprises 47 member agencies and 75 Task Force officers. During the first three months of the operation, the task force has opened 173 criminal investigations, resulting in 275 criminal charges and 99 arrests.

Members also seized illegal drugs including opioid drugs, heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines with a street value of approximately $2.1 million. In addition to drugs, 98 firearms have been seized from persons operating in the illegal drug trade.