Pubdate: Mon, 07 Apr 2008
Source: Huntsville Times (AL)
Copyright: 2008 The Huntsville Times
Author: Jim Henderson
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


One-Day Raids Seized 24 Meth Labs In State

On March 5, 2008, 41 states participated in a  nationwide arrest
roundup of drug violators, called  "Operation Byrne Blitz."

The name is in reference to the federally funded  Byrne-Justice
Assistance Grant that not only funds  vital drug task forces across
the nation, but also Drug  Courts and rehabilitation programs.

The roundup targeted drug dealers in rural and urban  neighborhoods,
not addicts or users. This operation was  planned and coordinated at
the national level by the  National Alliance of State Drug Enforcement
Agencies in  partnership with the National Narcotics Officers'
Associations' Coalition.

Nationally, the operation resulted in the arrests of  4,220
individuals on drug-related charges, the seizure  of 20,851 pounds of
marijuana, 886 marijuana plants,  1,749 pounds of cocaine, 120 pounds
of methamphetamine,  6,973 pharmaceutical pills, 13,244 ecstasy pills
and a  variety of other drugs.

Also seized were 666 firearms and $13.4 million in U.S.  currency.
Most importantly, 228 children were  determined to be endangered and
those cases were  referred to their respected child protection agencies.

In Alabama, nineteen Byrne-JAG drug task forces  participated on the
operation. The roundup resulted in  the arrest of 286 persons,
seizures of 1,872 grams of  methamphetamine oil, 205.7 grams of
methamphetamine,  101 grams of cocaine, 60.7 grams of crack cocaine,
13,987 grams of marijuana, 11 firearms, numerous stolen  property and
$25,013.00 in U.S. currency.

Also, 36 search warrants were executed. Again, most  importantly in
the operation was the discovery of 15  endangered children who were
referred to the Department  of Human Resources.

One striking statistic in this one-day operation is the  seizure of
105 meth labs nationally. This number  includes 24 meth labs in
Alabama alone.

It is vital that Congress properly fund this grant for  local law
enforcement. State and local governments can  not conduct this fight
alone. Drug trafficking is an  international problem that affects the
citizens of  Alabama at a neighborhood level.

This coordinated effort demonstrated the significance  of drug related
crimes and stresses the importance of  the federally funded Byrne
Justice Assistance Grant  program.

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Jim Henderson is southern vice president of the Alabama  Narcotics
Officers Association. Web site:
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