Officials Arrest 17 Suspected Drug Pushers In Hancock County - - The News for South Mississippi

Officials Arrest 17 Suspected Drug Pushers In Hancock County

Authorities rousted three people from a house on Mitchell Lane in Waveland Thursday morning. It was just one of the many stops made in an early morning round up of suspected drug dealers.

"We're going to say that was a pretty major crack house in Waveland," Task Force Director Matt Karl said.

Karl said the little house had been transformed into a big business, complete with surveillance cameras.

"We moved some undercover people in, made some buys. Our guys with narcotics sat on the place for a while, actually saw the traffic going in and out."

"Deputies found cash inside safes and a stash of crack cocaine," Karl said.

Hancock County Sheriff Steve Garber said it's time to take action.

"It's a growing problem and we're going to try and stop it here."

Garber said since Katrina, the drug problem has increased dramatically. According to the sheriff, 300 people have already been arrested this year for sales or possession. That's a sharp jump from the 101 arrests the year before.

"In the 28 years I've been here in Hancock County, it's the worst I've seen it," Karl said.

What makes this drug raid different from years past is the FEMA factor. About half of the suspects were found in FEMA trailers.

"The ones we got out of FEMA trailers, we'll actually meet with FEMA, and it's a good chance FEMA will take that trailer from them," Garber said. "It's sad when we have people who need trailers, but we're not going to tolerate drug dealers in these trailers."

Sheriff Garber said whether it's in FEMA trailers or neighborhoods, citizens spotting something suspicious are key to getting drug suspects off the streets.

"We have a handle on it and we're going to curb it. We've done it before and we can do it again."

The Task Force has arrest warrants for 35 suspected drug pushers. During Thursday morning's early morning round up, 17 were picked up.

by Al Showers

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