SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Department of Public Safety drug unit has started the new year off by letting drug dealers know they are not welcome in Sikeston.
The unit has already served four search warrants this year and has seized unusually large quantities of drugs.
DPS Director Drew Juden attributes a variety of reasons to the recent success. New technology in video and audio recordings top the list along with the dedicated efforts of the officers involved.
Several individuals have been arrested and additional arrests are pending in some of the cases the unit has already made this year. Some of the notable arrests are two marijuana seizures, one through a search warrant and the other through surveillance.
In the search warrant, Cedric Dowell was arrested after officers found over a pound of marijuana in his room at his mother's residence.
Almost two pounds were found after officers watched a residence on Hunter Street and observed a drug transaction. Officers approached the suspect who had distributed the drugs and a foot chase ensued. Officers were able to apprehend the suspect, Antonio Johnson, a block away. A search of a car at his residence led to the discovery of the marijuana.
Two search warrants were served Friday at two residences and approximately 11 ounces of powdered cocaine were found along with paraphernalia used to cut, package and sell the drug. Charles Harrington was arrested on Scott County warrants for dangerous drugs and another is being sought in connection with the drugs located at the residence.
Juden noted this is the largest seizure of powdered cocaine in his time here.
"That's just a lot of drugs that won't be hitting the streets," Juden said.
The unit has been vital in drug arrests by being able to learn about the drug operations, officials said.
In one of the most recent drug cases, the main dealer was living in one house and using another to store and process the drugs for sale. Detectives were able to obtain a search warrant for both locations and while nothing was found at one house, all of the drugs were found at the second.
Juden said it was important to search both houses because important records and other information including customers are obtained for later interviews concerning the dealer.
Drug investigators are also looking into a disturbing trend of parents allowing and often using drugs with their children. One such case occurred this year and another occurred in November of last year. The two recent cases led to the arrest of two sets of parents as well as their children.
"This is a real concern because parents are thought to be role models for their children and are obviously setting the wrong example when they allow or participate in drug usage with their children," Juden said.