Drug Interdiction Stops Expected To Increase

Monday night a Department of Public Safety trooper in Nacogdoches County pulled over a motorist transporting 24 pounds of marijuana found in a hidden compartment of the vehicle. This is the first of many more marijuana seizures that officers expect to conduct in the next few weeks.

Highway 59 is the drug traffickers highway. This time of year they're trucking the green weed to the north. Lt. Stephen Godfrey with the Deep East Texas Narcotics Drug Trafficking Task Force says, "The highway this time of year is rockin. They do have harvest seasons. With it being winter time there aren't many places where they can harvest marijuana, so it has to come north."

Since May the narcotics task force has seized 2,225 pounds of marijuana and made 116 interdiction stops. Add to that 20 stops made by the DPS last year.

"Typically around December to February is when it really picks back up. It wouldn't surprise you if you didn't have a significant seizure at least once a week," explains Godfrey.

Even though the marijuana trafficking is expected increase in the coming weeks it won't put meth enforcement on the back burner. Every task force member is becoming meth lab certified.

But that doesn't give them authority to clean up the labs. That's left to two site safety officers. They've been busy. Since may close to 125 pounds of methamphitimine related products were seized. "Probably on a weekly basis we respond to another county at least two to three times in a week either to aid and recovery or to do meth investigation," said Godfrey.

Godfrey attributes many of those cases to tips called in by the public, something helpful in meth investigation. As far as highway interdiction, its success primarily relies on the agents' training and experience.