It was the largest drug round up in Lamesa history. 28 people arrested and indicted on numerous drug charges. Now, each person is being held at Dickens county jail on a $500,000 bond. NewsChannel 11's Jennifer Vogel spoke with Lamesa police who say the number of arrests and the high bond amount sends a message to those thinking about selling drugs in their community.
Lamesa, Texas, population 9,952. Today, 28 of those residents are behind bars. Lamesa police Chief, Richard Garcia says, "They are charged with delivery and criminal activity. They sold drugs to undercover agents."
Over a dozen agencies, 60 officers, and 28 arrests. A four month investigation ends at Lamesa police. The Chief tells us each person allegedly sold drugs to the same undercover agent over a four month time period. Every suspect got an early morning visit, where they were pulled out of their homes, brought to the Dawson county jail, processed, and served with a Grand Jury indictment and a bond amount of 500,000 dollars.
One prisoner said, "They invaded my house without probable cause. No drugs were found."
It's true. No drugs were found at any of the homes at the time of the arrests. But police say they have been actively investigating each person arrested, and most are considered career criminals who already have drug charges on their record.
Just hours after being arrested, a caravan of cars, full of prisoners, drove to Dickens county jail. And after all was said and done, Lamesa police say they hope other drug dealers will get the message. "Don't do it here, because we may not catch you today or tomorrow, but obviously we'll get you."
Some of the accused compared Thursday's arrests to the 1999 Tulia drug bust. In Tulia, 46 arrests were made, 38 of those arrested were African American. Governor Perry later pardoned all defendants after the lone investigating officer was discredited. In this case, there was only one undercover officer, but many others helped investigate.
Lamesa police say the round up was a success, but they still have a few more people with outstanding warrants.
|Courts & Crime|