Narcotics sweep targets street dealers

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A city-wide narcotics sweep in Nacogdoches is underway. There were warrants on 35 suspected drug dealers charged with about 80 cases, most of them felonies. It is the turning point of a five month undercover investigation.

Law officers prepared for trouble. They had heavy artillery, bullet proof vests and a game plan.   "Police. Come to the door," shouted an officer after banging on an apartment door. The police had only arrest warrants, not search warrants.  All they could was urge their suspects to the door.

Nothing bad went down today. Several quick arrests of individuals whose alleged crack dealing have been watched for a very long safely occurred. One suspect when asked if the arrest came as a surprise answered "no".

"The street level dealer is kinda where it starts," Sgt. Greg Sowell, public service information officer, explained while driving the streets he once patrolled. "Everybody that uses on a regular basis gets it from a street level dealer."

Several law agencies, including the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Department and Constable Pct. 4, showed up at apartment complexes in and around the Pecan Orchard residential area. High crime is encroaching on the middle class neighborhood. Officers want residents to know something is being done about it.  "Just like this investigation was on going during some of these neighborhood meetings that we've been having, but we couldn't talk about it because it would jeopardize the operation," shared Sowell.

The manager of one apartment complex couldn't speak to us on camera, but she did share pleasure that police are taking the initiative to try to clear up crime in her complex.

Not all 35 warrants were issued today. By this evening a total of 13 people had been arrested. An additional five were already in jail, on other charges. Information provided through tips from Nacogdoches Crime Stoppers helped with many of the cases.

Law enforcement are confident they will arrest everyone on the list.  It will give rookie NPD Officer Patrick Nichols something to go after. "It was exciting. First time I've ever done anything like this so it's a pretty big day, I guess," Nichols said.

A big day in the attempt to at least curtail street level narcotics dealers in Nacogdoches.

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