The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

April 14, 2006

Beckley drug warrant sweep continues

41 people taken into custody as of Friday

Beckley police continued to scour the streets Friday, inspecting any possible hideaway of suspected drug dealers who may think they’re in the clear because they were missed by Thursday’s massive raid.

Detective Sgt. Gant Montgomery, supervisor of the department’s Narcotics Enforcement Division, said 41 people had been taken into custody as of early Friday afternoon.

Thirty-eight people were taken into custody across Beckley Thursday as 20 to 25 officers swept through the city with drug arrest warrants for 74 people. The warrants and arrests were the result of a six-to-seven-month investigation by the narcotics division. The majority arrested were charged with dealing illegal drugs, and most were repeat offenders, police said The investigation also took a variety of narcotics off the streets, such as marijuana, crack cocaine, cocaine, ecstasy and prescription drugs such as oxycodone.

“We’re still looking,” Montgomery said Friday. “We will pick them up. ... We would like the community to assist us because we are still looking for them. We have the media helping, and we hope the community calls us or calls Crime Stoppers. With all of this together, we are going to find them.”

Montgomery believes Thursday’s raid had an enormous impact that he believes will put a dent in drug trafficking.

“We had ... This is crazy. Drug dealing targets called in asking if there were warrants for their arrests,” he said. “It was that much of a surprise. They didn’t know if they were wanted or not. Now they know. We have made a statement not only to the community but to the ones trafficking.

“The statement is that we are committed to fighting the drug problem here in Beckley, and we are 100 percent committed to ending drug trafficking. This has been a long time coming. ... We will not stop until we find every last one of them.”

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