Houston County Unhappy With Task Force - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

09/06/04 - Houston County

Houston County Unhappy With Task Force

by Donna McCollum

For a small town Crockett has a serious drug problem. The abuse here is well documented extending from neighborhood streets into the county.

The Deep East Texas Regional Narcotics Task Force is supposed to be attacking this problem by catching offenders, but some county leaders say few arrests are being made. Officials signed a letter to the task force commander voicing disapproval.

Houston County District Attorney Cindy Garner said, "The last case they filed with me was in may and it dealt with a small cocaine buy that happened in November and certainly that is not adequate."

Task Force Commander Reynold Humber said his drug arrest count is much different. "The last tally we had for the grant period which ended June 1st was 23 cases we worked over there and ten arrests were made."

Houston County and the City of Crockett are paying more than $26,000 a year to be part of the task force effort. With all this money being spent the agencies would also like to see more drug enforcement on area highways.

"I just want them to be working, but needless to say I've not seen them out on the street doing highway interdiction," said Garner.

"I agree our interdiction hasn't been what it could be over there," said Humber. He goes on to explain that interdiction dropped in all member counties when he was low on agents. Now that five positions are filled and training complete Humber said he's stepped up highway interdiction.

Garner said the task force will be given at least until the first of the year to step up its performance. If service doesn't improve the agencies will consider withdrawing their memberships

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