Sheriff's officials say Barbour County has an abundance of illegal drug activity, and it's time to put a stop to it.
Officials say until now, drug enforcement has been minimal in Barbour County.
Within this last month, thousands of dollars worth of drugs have been taken off the streets and landed many people behind bars.
Just some of the drugs recovered from a recent bust by Barbour County sheriff's deputies is said to be worth over $30,000 dollars. It is only part of the Barbour County Sheriff Office crack down on illegal substances.
"Broken up and sold at Spring Break, there’s probably about $10,000 dollars worth of marijuana in there," says Chief Deputy Eddie Ingram, Barbour County Sheriff’s Office.
Last weekend, the sheriff's office made nine busts in a two-day period and has recovered goods ranging from marijuana, to methamphetamine, to firearms.
“Barbour County has had a long lasting drug problem and a problem with burglaries and it never has been aggressively pursued or tackled like we’re tackling it now. We plan to stay at them and our overall goal is to lower the crime rate here in Barbour County at least 50 to 75 percent our first year in office," says Ingram.
Sheriff's deputies say most of the drug busts occur on Highway 431, during routine traffic stops.
They say they expect more to come.
"Aggressive drug enforcement will eliminate 99 percent of the crime because it’s all drug related when you get down to it, except for sexual crimes. All the crimes are tied to drugs and alcohol," says Ingram.
So what's causing the increase in narcotic busts?
There are a few factors deputies are crediting: some recent hires by the new sheriff with over 120 hours training a year.
However, the most important, they say, are the long hours put in by the 14-member force.
In some cases, the deputies work over 30 hours straight.
Even though the sheriff's office has access to a K-9 unit, the department doesn't have one for itself.
Therefore, most of these drug busts are done without the help of the dogs.
The Barbour County Sheriff's deputies plan to average 50 drug busts a month to get the use of narcotics out of the area.
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