Local officers assist in Siskiyou County meth bust
Officers arrested 16 people during the operation in the town of 850 people. The suspects face various charges related to the sales or possession of methamphetamine. Child and Family Protective Services also took five children, age 4 to 15, into custody.
The operation came as a result of an undercover investigation conducted by the Siskiyou Countywide Interagency Narcotics Task Force. Lassen County Assistant Sheriff Dean Growdon said the Siskiyou NTF spent months conducting undercover drug purchases and had already developed a lot of evidence to support drug sales charges.
Growdon said the NTF agents wanted to serve all the search warrants at once in order to collect physical evidence such as packaging materials and scales, which the officers did collect during the searches.
One Siskiyou NTF agent said the task force didn’t want any of the suspects slipping through the dragnet, according to the Siskiyou Daily News.
The Daily News said Siskiyou NTF started the investigation in the early fall of 2007 after complaints from several Dorris residents and city government officials about methamphetamine use and trafficking.
“I can say now that we’re getting our town back,” the Daily News quoted Dorris Police Comissioner Anita Stevenson.
One of those arrested was the daughter of Dorris City Councilwoman and Mayor pro tem Liz Clontz, who stopped by the command post to thank the officers who took part in the drug bust, according to the Daily News. Clontz had previously complained that nothing was being done about the city’s drug problem.
Meth enforcement grant
Officers from Modoc, Plumas and Trinity County also participated in the drug bust. All five counties participated as members of the northernmost California Multi-jurisdictional Methamphetamine Enforcement Team in the state.
When the Lassen County Board of Supervisors approved a Cal-MMET grant in June 2007, Sheriff Steve Warren said five north state sheriffs applied through the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
The $1 million grant provided up to $210,000 for Lassen County “for the sole purpose of getting methamphetamine off streets,” Warren said.
The grant allowed the sheriff to assign an additional staff member to Lassen County Narcotics Task Force. The team also agreed to cooperate on meth-enforcement cases.
Former Sheriff Ron Jarrell originally signed a memorandum of understanding for multi-jurisdictional methamphetamine enforcement in 2001.
“But all the money and all the enforcement took place down in the valley,” Warren told the board in June.
The sheriff said he wasn’t sure if the valley emphasis was an oversight, how the program was developed or if people didn’t believe the northern counties had a methamphetamine problem.
“Clearly we do (have a methamphetamine problem),” Warren said.
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