DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - In a 24 hour period, more than a dozen people were arrested on drug charges in Morgan and Limestone Counties. A few of the arrests were the result of undercover operations. But most were the result of traffic stops, follow-up visits, and complaints from neighbors. One officer tells us these drug related cases comprise most of the crime they have to deal with.
These are the faces of some of the people who have been arrested in just one day on drug related charges in Decatur and Limestone County. We're told additional arrests have been made in Morgan County but their mug shots were not readily available.
The drug arrests and drug-related offenses keep area police busy.
"I'd say simply in property crimes alone anywhere from 50% to 75% of the property crimes committed are directly the result of drug use, says Decatur Police Lt. John Crouch. He added, "These are your thefts, your burglaries, B&E to autos. These are simply individuals looking to obtain money, looking to obtain goods they can swap for drugs."
Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely says they're just now beginning to see heroin coming into the area, but he says meth has been a problem for years.
"Matter of fact, this case we made the other night, there was five people sitting around waiting. They had just made some (meth) and were in the process of fixing to start smoking it and waiting for another batch to be cooked off," Blakely says.
Sheriff Blakely says the meth is particularly dangerous because most who try it once find themselves addicted. "It's almost got a, that old comedian says here's your sign, well they got a sign on their forehead that does say stupid."
Both men say it's a drain on department resources and a tremendous expense, in more ways than one, on taxpayers.
Sheriff Blakely and Lt. Crouch both say there's no accurate way to compute the total cost of drug abuse. This is because there are so many factors to consider including enforcement, incarceration, lost productivity, and theft.