36 arrested during joint law enforcement initiative in northern Alabama
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A joint federal, state, and local law enforcement initiative has resulted in the arrests of 36 individuals on a variety of criminal charges, including drug trafficking, money laundering, using communication facilities to facilitate drug trafficking and various firearms offenses, announced the Drug Enforcement Administration. The majority of the defendants were arrested in north Alabama, however some defendants were arrested in California, Iowa, Virginia and Tennessee.
"These arrests are indicative of DEA's commitment to rid our communities of drug trafficking organizations determined to profit on the backs of addiction," said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Clay Morris. “Citizens in Northern Alabama can rest assured that the DEA and our law enforcement partners are determined to ensure these communities remain safe and a great place to live. The success of this investigation is an outstanding example of our law enforcement community's resolve and determination."
In the spring of 2018, special agents of the DEA, and members of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and Alabama Law Enforcement Agency began an investigation involving quantities of high quality methamphetamine being sold in Morgan and Lawrence County. Agents quickly learned that the methamphetamine was being distributed not only in those areas, but also in the surrounding areas as far south as Cullman and as far north as Tennessee, by multiple affiliated individuals. Agents also learned that the methamphetamine was coming from the San Bernardino area of California. During the course of the investigation, over 74 pounds of “ice” methamphetamine, a kilo of cocaine hydrochloride and 46 grams of “crack” cocaine was seized. Twenty guns were seized, including two assault rifles and a short barrel shotgun. Some of the guns seized were identified as stolen. More than $123,000 was seized by federal agencies. This amount does not include amounts of money seized and forfeited by state and local agencies.
“There is no daylight between local, state and federal law enforcement,” said U. S. Attorney Jay E. Town. "These indictments represent the hard work of many of our law enforcement partners, and exemplify our global efforts of taking on the most dangerous criminals menacing our neighborhoods. Our relationships across the board have never been stronger.”
“North Alabama is safer today as a result of this operation,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Jonnie Sharp, Jr. “This was an outstanding example of law enforcement partnerships working together to remove dangerous criminals from our neighborhoods."
“The Postal Service has no interest in being the unwitting accomplice to anyone using the U.S. Mail to distribute illegal drugs or other harmful substances,” said U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge Adrian Gonzalez. “Postal Inspectors will continue to work with our local and federal law enforcement partners to investigate and hold accountable those who misuse the U.S. Mail. Through our joint efforts, we have dismantled a criminal organization that posed a direct threat to various communities in multiple states.”
“We thank our State and Federal partners for their efforts and support in helping rid our community of illegal activity,” said Madison County Sheriff Kevin Turner. "We value our partnerships and will continually look for opportunities to enhance our ability to protect and serve all of Madison County.”
The arrests made on Oct. 9, 2019 resulted from the combined efforts of local law enforcement agencies across eight counties in Northern Alabama, along with State and Federal law enforcement partners. Law enforcement agencies participating in the investigation included: DEA; United States Attorney’s Office; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms; United States Postal Inspection Service; Office of the Attorney General State of Alabama; Alabama Law Enforcement Agency; Morgan County Sheriff’s Department; Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department; Decatur Police Department; Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department; Colbert County Sheriff’s Department; Franklin County Sheriff’s Department; Russellville Police Department; Marion County Sheriff’s Department; Huntsville Police Department, Cullman County Sheriff’s Department, Cullman Police Department, Madison Police Department, and the Wayne County (Tennessee) Sheriff’s Department.