ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - By Morgan Thomas - email
ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Getting the media involved is a risk a lot of law enforcement agencies don't want to take. Especially when the element of surprise is key to their success. The most recent drug bust is another example of why that doesn't seem to be a problem for the Angelina County Sheriff's Office..
"They knew they didn't have time to get rid of it, no time to react," Sgt. Allen Hill said.
They arrested three suspects on meth possession. Even though it was all caught on camera, they got their suspects and they got a bunch of meth of the street.
"Approximately about 15 grams of methamphetamine, a bunch of needles, pipes," Hill said.
Hill says the community are the eyes and ears of the sheriff's office. They couldn't get their job done without an open line of communication between them and the public.
He builds new cases every time a drug bust makes the news. More exposure means more tips.
"They'll call us, or email us or shoot us something on Facebook," Sheriff Kent Henson said.
Seeing the outcome of someone's tip motivates others to call again.
"I think the public is seeing isn't falling on deaf ears," Hill said. "We take every tip to heart."
And that goes for more than folks in Angelina County.
"Even people from other counties call us and if they do that I can call either the sheriff or the police department in that county or town," Henson said.
The goal of communicating through the media isn't just to get more tips, but providing public awareness.
"People want to know what's going on in their neighborhood," Henson said. "If a sex offender moves into the neighborhood people need to know about it. If somebody moves in making dope they need to know about it."
The bottom line is more eyes and ears on a problem solves it.
Angelina deputies say they were on a mission to make an arrest on an outstanding warrant, but instead caught three people with meth "in their laps."
Sgt. Allen Hill said the intention was to arrest Jodi Sparkman, 37, on an outstanding warrant, at his house on JHB Circle on U.S. 59 North. Hill said he knew there was a chance there would be drugs in the home, so he brought help.
But when they entered the house, they found Sparkman, Julie Allen, 41, and Gilmore Cox, 51, all of Lufkin, getting high on meth.
All three will be charged with possession of meth, Hill said.