LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe says drug activity on the South Plains is increasing at a startling rate.
Multiple agencies have raided eight homes and arrested an accused member of a Cartel and members of the Crips street gang, just in the last month.
The most recent multi-agency investigation landed brothers 28-year-old Jasmine Jamal Spence, 27-year-old William Emmanuel Spence and 21-year-old Antonio Deon Ray Montgomery behind bars.
Dequan Willard, 21, was also arrested during those raids. Willard was reportedly a victim in a September shooting in the 2200 block of East 29th Street.
Police said it appeared someone removed an air conditioning unit and opened fire into the home.
Now, just weeks after that shooting, Willard is in jail on federal charges, following a year long investigation into cocaine distribution by the Crips street gang in Lubbock.
Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe said the drug trade is based on supply and demand and there are plenty of consumers on the South Plains contributing to these shocking numbers.
"The increases in cocaine, crystal meth from 2014 to present, some cases have been as a high as 800 percent," Sheriff Rowe said.
"Today, all we see when these guys come in contact, or when we are wrapping some of these big investigations up, it's in pounds and kilos," Sheriff Rowe said.
Now, after a raid of five homes across the city, about two kilos of cocaine are off the street. Officers also seized nearly $40,000 in cash and guns, one of which was reported as stolen. Six vehicles were also taken during the raids.
Those men are in the Lubbock County Detention Center on federal charges of possession with intent to distribute.
The raids of those five homes make a total of eight homes raided about a month that turned up big money and narcotics.
In September, multiple agencies raided three other Lubbock homes, including one in the Southwest neighborhood of LakeRidge.
During those raids, officers seized 61 pounds of narcotics, about $38,000 in cash, vehicles, motorcycles, boats and a jet ski.
That investigation led to the arrest of 28-year-old Esteban Garcia, who is facing federal charges.
Out of these eight raids, officers have seized roughly $80,000 in cash and taken pounds of narcotics off the streets.
Sheriff Rowe wants to reassure residents they are working to keep Lubbock safe.
"Trust in the fact that we are working as diligently as we possibly can to develop those cases and get these individuals of their neighborhoods regardless of where they are in Lubbock," Sheriff Rowe said.