Drug roundup lands 26 in jail

Published 12:05 am Thursday, July 7, 2011

A multi-agency roundup Wednesday landed nearly 30 people in jail on a multitude of drug and firearms charges.

The effort, which was coordinated by the 22nd Circuit Drug Task Force, was a culmination of an eight-month long undercover operation and involved 13 law enforcement agencies.

DTF commander Mark Odom said the arrests were made possible when DTF agents were able to record “buys” by using an undercover officer hired and trained by the Andalusia Police Department. The APD, Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the DTF funded the roundup, which began at 4 a.m. yesterday.

Odom said 36 warrants were issued for 27 individuals, and by 10 a.m., 26 of those were in custody. Names, charges and bond amounts of those arrested will be announced today.

“We arrested people for marijuana, pills and cocaine, and mostly for distribution,” Odom said. “Some of those arrested will also face federal gun and drug charges. Additionally, others were arrested by officers at the scenes on other charges when those warrants were served.”

There were 49 officers from the Andalusia, Opp, Ozark, Dothan, Greenville and Brewton police departments; the Alabama Beverage Control Board; Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; Covington County District Attorney’s Office; Covington County Sheriff’s Office and the county’s IRT team participating in the roundup.

Officers broke into teams to serve the warrants in different parts of the county.

“I think the citizens of Andalusia and Covington County can be pleased knowing these drug dealers are off the streets,” Odom said. “I know I am.”

District attorney Walt Merrell said residents can “breathe easier” now that dozens of predators have been taken off the streets.

“(Those arrested) have preyed on the young, the weak and the afflicted for long enough,” Merrell said. “The act of selling drugs is sub human, and we won’t tolerate it. Predators belong in a cage, and that’s where we intend to put anyone who sells drugs.”

The Star-News will update this story as information is released this morning.