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Effort nets 22 arrests
Officials continue drug crackdown
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The local sheriff’s office is working with several anti-drug groups and partner agencies in its ongoing effort to keep drugs out of Dawson County.


According to authorities, nearly two dozen suspects have been arrested in the last month as a result of two separate drug cases.


Sheriff’s Capt. Tony Wooten said marijuana, methamphetamine and prescription pills are the most problematic at this time.


“Those are the big three right now,” he said.


Of the suspects arrested in the past month on drug or drug-related charges, several were from elsewhere. 


“A lot of the people that we’ve arrested are coming up from other counties and buying or selling drugs in Dawson County,” Wooten said.


“We’ve busted several here, but we’ve also busted several in other counties where a lot of the drugs are being supplied and brought into our county.”


Wooten said the investigations, which have spanned at least four other counties, have also taken significant amounts of drugs off local streets.


“Our drug investigators, along with our criminal investigation division, have been working with other agencies with information they had received,” Wooten said.


Investigators were also able to close two local burglary cases with information received during drug arrests. Both suspects were from outside Dawson County, according to Wooten.


“Drugs and burglaries so often go hand in hand,” he said “Being able to take those people off the streets and keep them out of the county is obviously going to make a difference on the property crimes and thefts that would be happening.”


The sheriff’s office is also taking part in an initiative to get prescription drugs off the streets.


“We recently held a pill drop where we collected several pounds of prescription pills,” Wooten said. “We’re planning to start having these monthly.”


The collected pills are then turned over to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, which destroys them.


“Getting those pills destroyed, instead of leaving them in your house, makes you less likely to be a victim of someone breaking into your house to steal drugs from your medicine cabinet,” Wooten said.


The sheriff’s office has also stepped up its efforts in local areas considered targets for drugs and thefts.


“We’re using our crime suppression unit, our canines, as well as our patrol officers to really focus this time of year on areas that are higher risk,” Wooten said.


“We encourage people to lock their doors and report any suspicious activity to the sheriff’s office, so we can check it out.”