Morgan County Drug Task Force Named Narcotics Unit of the Year

MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – The Morgan County Drug Task Force earned the title of Alabama Narcotics Unit of the Year for 2013.

Thousands of cases of meth, cocaine and marijuana have kept the task force busy, but it’s those countless arrests and seizures that earned it the award.

The officers within the force do much of their work undercover, so we can’t reveal their identity, but WHNT News 19 was able to speak with the director of the unit about the achievement.

“There’s some stiff competition out there,” said the director. “There’s a lot of great guys especially I know in North Alabama that do great things in narcotic work and it’s just a huge honor.”

In fact, this is the first time the Morgan County team received the award.

The director said from 2011 to 2013 his team busted 673 meth labs in the county, including 169 last year.

Through the first quarter of 2014, his team has already dismantled nine meth labs.

The drug arrests have also led to a decrease in all crimes reported throughout the county.

The Sheriff’s office says that non-drug related crimes are down by 30 percent.

“When you’re using narcotics and things like this, you’ve got to find a way to make money to support that,” said the director.

He says the efforts of the task force will not stop with this one award.

“I want to do more, but I think we have made a large dent in crime here and yeah, I definitely think we’ve improved the quality of life here,” said the director.

The Morgan County Drug Task Force is currently involved with nearly 200 on-going investigations.

If you have a drug problem in your area, call the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office at 256-351-4800.

9 comments

  • Michael

    In other words, of all the drug task forces in the state of Alabama that has wasted the most time and resources in fighting consensual crime and expanded the power and reach of the government, Morgan County has wasted and expanded the most.

    At what point do we stop and ask ourselves that if we’re really making a dent on the amount of drugs in our neighborhoods then why are there still so many drug busts?

  • Vik

    Drugs fuel crime. They will continue to do so, just like the prohibition of alcohol created job opportunities for the criminally minded until it was repealed. Want to kill off the drug cartels? Put them in direct competition with RJ Reynolds and see how long they last.

    Of course, the contract prison industry (a huge moneymaker) would fight any law legalizing marihuana tooth and nail. It makes them too much money, some of which they use to fund campaigns of their pet legislators at state and federal levels, so that would be a hard row to hoe.

    Having said all that, given the current laws, I repeat, drugs fuel crime, just like alcohol did during prohibition–that’s why it is still called the “Roaring Twenties”.

    Illegal drugs push everything from shoplifting to murder, to theft (lots of theft), burglary, home invasion, robbery, and on and on. It just runs the gamut of whatever people who are too drugged to work, or can’t get a job because of a criminal record, and need lots of money to buy more dope, will do to feed the habit. So pretty much all crime.

    This task force has had a monumental impact on the total crime in North Alabama and especially Morgan county. Check the statistics, I did. It’s downright amazing.

    This is a richly deserved award to a truly outstanding and dedicated group of people. They have made drastic strides towards making Morgan county a safer place to live and raise kids. As a father of 4, with 6 grandchildren, I deeply appreciate their efforts in a dangerous and mostly thankless job.

    I emphasize the children because it’s easier for a child or a teen, in many cases, to buy dope than it is to buy alcohol, or even cigarettes, the dealers don’t ask for ID. Where do kids get that much money? Well, they steal it, or deal drugs themselves. And if kids start dealing drugs to support their habit, who do they sell the drugs to? Not adults, you can bet, but their peer group.

    I love my young ones and do not want them exposed to that. Thank you, Sheriff and task force for knocking a big hole in that threat.

    During her tenure, Sheriff Franklin has brought the Sheriff’s office from the stone age of law enforcement into the 21st century, and she has done this by choosing the right people with the right skill-sets, putting them in the right places, and then supporting them as they do their job.

    The credit rightly goes to the members of the task forceā€¦none of whom would be ON the task force but for Sheriff Franklin, and they could not do their jobs without her support.

    As to the question above about why there are still so many busts, it’s simply the law of supply and demand. When one (or a dozen) dealers go down for the long count, it leaves a vacuum that is gonna be filled, because there is so much money in dealing drugs. Until they, too, are busted. It isn’t going away so long as drugs are illegal, and therefore, profitable.

    But, Michael, I bet your dope has went up a lot in the last few years. I agree with your leaning toward the government having too much reach, and would probably go even further than you down that road, however, the basic duty of government is to protect the people, and by cutting crime as much as they undeniably have, they are fulfilling that duty, evidently better than anyone else in the state.

    If the task force keeps it up, which I’m sure they will so long as Ana is Sheriff, total crime (not just drug crime) will continue to plummet downward.

    It’s all risk vs benefit, make the risk too great, it outweighs the benefit.

    Rock on, Sheriff, and rock on, task force.

    • Michael

      You were doing ok until you got to the baseless assumption that I do dope (you’re wrong BTW). If you’re a proponent of this war on drugs, and it sounds like you are, then no you don’t lean as far as I do on government reach. The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world with almost 25% of the world’s prison population. I find that number in a supposed free country outrageous.

      I don’t care what you do in your home whether it be drugs, alcohol, porn, prostitution, gambling, etc. as long as you aren’t harming anyone else directly or putting them in jeopardy. Every person partaking in these activities does so under his/her own responsibility. You talk about the government protecting its people. Well how about the government protect me from itself?

      You’ve even admitted it yourself. Every time a major dealer is taken off the streets his market is taken up by the next dealer(s). When they get busted another comes along. And then another. It only repeats itself.

      You can talk about cutting crime under Ana all you want but the truth is that total crime was already going down before she won 4 years ago. These numbers are too easily manipulated.

      Even the motive behind these numbers is flawed. You’d think Morgan County would tout low level numbers of murders, robberies, rapes, assaults, etc. if they had something tangible on their side right? But no, they go to the drug numbers because its easy to generate lots of impressive statistics by making a ton of arrests and convictions for drug offenders. They’ve got to seem like they’re doing SOMETHING.

      I can hear people already smashing their keyboards to accuse me of wanting the streets flooded with illegal drugs. Not at all. I want them gone as much as the next guy. I’m suggesting we’re doing it wrong.

      Look at how Portugal handled its drug problem. The short of it is like this. They decriminalized ALL drugs. They stressed rehabilitation and education over incarceration and punishment. As a result, their numbers are down astoundingly. Meanwhile over here in the US, we’ve spent billions of dollars trying to combat drugs and have no real data to show that we have made any progress.

      Let me close with this and talk about the addicts. Not the recreational users but those that are combating real demons in their lives. Under our current Draconian laws, they are too afraid to ask for the help they desperately need. Often times when they do they are kidnapped and throw into cages with violent people with no real regards to rehabilitation or corrections. So when they do get out of jail, the addiction they have is still present. Therefore, they go right back out and feed the habits they already have. How can we continue to let this happen? How can a country that calls itself prominently a Christian nation want to handle so many nonviolent crimes in so many violent manners?

  • Bigdaddy

    I think all the*task force* should have to play by the same rules as those they bust! I know for sure that SOME of them are users and they are padding their pockets with money and drugs! They know who they are boss!

    • 10-15 10-77

      Ok, tiny daddy, name them, put their name out there if you “know” they are “users”, or are you just blowing smoke youself? You got busted and are just mad cause they out smarted you.

      • Mathew

        Ask Ana how many felons she has hired…family members, etc. Also go on the EPIC website and you will clearly catch her in a bold faced lie. She did not bust this many meth labs…if they were true meth labs they would be listed on this site. Come on Ana quit pulling the wool over the publics eye!

  • 10-15 10-77

    Mathew, get a clue man, a felon can not work in law enforcement, a job in and around firearms? Your funny. The epic page you are talking about is only those large labs reported to the DEA for DEA assistance. Man, try again and get educated.

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