Meth dealers have no boundaries, neither do law enforcement

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The investigation actually began in Nacogdoches County, Precinct 4 by the constable's office. After weeks of surveillance the arrest went down in Nacogdoches County, Precinct one. Just as drug users don't have boundaries, neither do law enforcement officers. Law enforcement from both jurisdictions worked together on serving the search warrant.

The investigation ended Sunday night at a rural home, near Appleby in the 16-hundred block of County Road 256. Pct 4 Constable Jason Bridges led the investigation, with help from his deputies, including Kenneth King.  Both men didn't get home until three in the morning. Less than 8 hours later they were sorting through a variety of illegal drugs, lab equipment and guns confiscated from the home.

"They actually smoke the methamphetimine out of these bulbs," Bridges said while picking up a household light bulb. All the items were found inside the wood frame house, located not far from an exclusive subdivision. It's where William Barr was living with an elderly aunt.

Barr was arrested for possession of a controlled substance. His relatives say he uses to help him deal with chronic pain. Barr is described as a likeable person, even by those in law enforcement. No matter. It turned into an illegal addiction. "People that do Meth aren't bad people, they make bad choices," Bridges said. The comment may sound like something used in a high school classroom, but it's something Bridges deeply believes. The constable has a close relative fighting a drug problem now. "Drug addictions destroy lives. The user loses his job. They may commit crimes, like burglaries and robberies. Eventually they lose a family and end up in jail. It's touching more and more good families," Bridges said with conviction.

Between Bridges and his two deputy constables is 30 years of experience in the narcotics investigation field. The former task force investigators try to pick up where they left off. (The state narcotic task forces were dissolved by the state three years ago.) They use a lot of the same investigative methods successfully used by state narcotic officers. They include tips, undercover work and lots of surveillance.

"Investigations are very time consuming and very demanding," Bridges explained. Weeks of work led up to Sunday's arrest. "We spend a lot of hours on this. And of course, we have a lot of other duties as well that we have to perform," Bridges said.

As constables, they confront the same dangers they saw while on the task force. Users have weapons and police scanners. Some houses are furnished with cameras and monitors alerting them of every visitor.  "Anybody walking up, a buzzer would go off inside the house," Bridges said. All were found in the Appleby house.

The warning didn't help this time. Precinct 4 and Precinct 1 constables and Nacogdoches County Sheriff's deputies successfully served the search warrant. A phone call placed to District Judge Ed Klein on a Sunday afternoon allowed the swift and timely action.  Barr is attempting to raise the bail to get out of jail.

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