April 17, 2009
It started at 5 a.m., with authorities from the Columbus/Lowndes Metro Narcotics Unit, the Mississippi Department of Corrections, Mississippi Highway Patrol and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics making the rounds on Northside Columbus and along areas like Dale Drive in Lowndes County.
The effort continued all over the city and county through the night, and by this morning, more than two dozen suspected drug dealers were behind bars.
Law enforcement officials are targeting 48 "known drug dealers" in the city of Columbus for arrest through "Operation Spring Cleaning," which began Thursday, and, as of this morning, 30 suspects have been arrested.
Police were met with very little resistance, said Columbus Police Department Capt. Fred Shelton.
"Most of them, when they saw us, they knew what it was and they came in pretty quietly," he added of the suspects.
Police are not focusing on the dealers of any specific illegal substance, but are blanketing the whole range of illegal drugs.
"It''s anywhere from meth to oxycontin to marijuana to cocaine. Really, it''s the whole spectrum," said Shelton, confident everyone on the list of suspected dealers soon will be in custody.
"When we do a roundup like this, we get half or more on the first day, and then everybody starts hiding for a while," said Shelton. "But, after a little while, they go out there and do the same stupid thing."
The arrests were the result of several undercover operations, which have been progressing over the past six months.
"Our message is, ''If you deal drugs on the streets of Columbus, we are going to get you,''" said Shelton. "It might take us a little while, but we are going to get you."
Police arrested the following Lowndes County residents during Operation Spring Cleaning: Anthony Frierson, Lavoris Smith, Estevanio Gore, Kenneth Shirley, Tishar Holmes, Christopher Mixon, Kenneth Adair, Jerry Davis, Jeremy Moody, Anthony Slaughter, Dawn Cassidy, Howard Williams, Wendell Davis, Akeem Davis, Willie Slaughter, Annie B. Davis, Christopher Fair, Joseph Koger, Arliann Baker, Ricky Martin, Terrica Drungo, R.D. Malone, Pamela Oscar, Darrell Thomas, Levert Nance, Brandy Dennison and Helena Criddle.