(Photos by Michelle Felter, Staff)
SIKESTON -- A fleet of fire trucks and squad cars out on the town typically means there has been a fire or accident. But they signaled something different Wednesday -- the arrival of Jack Frost.
Make that Operation Jack Frost, what this year's Christmas warrant roundup was dubbed. Twelve suspects were arrested Wednesday afternoon in the roundup, with 11 found in Sikeston and one in Scott County.
DPS Director Drew Juden termed the operation, which began around 1 p.m. and concluded at 4 p.m., a success. "Processing that amount of people in that short of a time period as well as serving four search warrants took a real team effort by everyone involved," he said in a news release issued this morning.
The suspects were arrested as a result of 17 indictments returned from a Scott County grand jury. In addition to those arrested under the indictments, two of the twelve were arrested for possession of controlled substances.
"This is an ongoing effort our law enforcement community to pick up some of our people selling controlled substances out of Scott County," said Scott County Prosecutor Paul Boyd.
There's a reason law enforcement often serves these warrants near the holidays -- to "dry up" town, getting some off the streets by sending them to jail and making others a bit more careful who they sell drugs to, said Ken Dicus, Lieutenant of Public Safety.
Two of the four warrants served were high-risk, no-knock, Dicus said. The charges centered around drugs for the most part, but also included forged scripts investigation that DPS has worked through the summer and fall, according to the news release.
Several of those who were served warrants were repeat offenders, according to officials. "I won't say you see these people all the time, but it's not uncommon," Dicus said.
The Jackson Police Department, Scott County Sheriff's Office, Missouri State Highway Patrol and SEMO Drug Task Force assisted the Sikeston Department of Public Safety. Two transports were used: those belonging to DPS and Scott County.
The pressure to keep drugs off the streets will continue, Boyd warned. "I have requested a new spring 2007 grand jury," he said. "If you're selling drugs in Scott County, you're just stupid."