The Lake Area Narcotics Enforcement Group is getting high praise for its work in Laclede County for 2021.
Sheriff David Milsap says the group’s work made a significant impact on the local drug trade over the past 5 years, sizing more than three pounds of methamphetamines in the last year alone.
The Sheriff estimates that LANEG has seized nearly $400,000 worth of street meth in that time.
Last year LANEG also seized 100 doses of the dangerous drug fentanyl, served 22 warrants, made 28 arrests and recovered $13,000 in drug money.
****Release from the Sheriff:
The task force in charge of long-term narcotic investigations in Laclede County seized more than three pounds of methamphetamine in Laclede County last year. “Lake Area Narcotics Enforcement Group’s work has made a significant impact on the local drug trade during the past five years. Meth is usually sold on the street in quarter or half gram allotments. Taking three pounds off the street makes a dent in the local trade,” said Sheriff David Millsap. Total street value of the methamphetamine is estimated at $149, 000. In the last two years LANEG has seized nearly $400,000 in street valued methamphetamine.
LANEG seized 100 doses of fentanyl and $13,000 in drug money from local drug dealers during the year. The task force served 22 search warrants and made 28 arrests, while conducting 32 long term investigations. “The arrest numbers do not include drug arrest made by Laclede County Sheriff’s Deputies, Lebanon Police Officers, or members of the Missouri Highway Patrol stationed in Laclede County. “LANEG and local law enforcement have worked hard over the last five years to address the meth issues and the numbers this year and preceding years prove that. But it is an everyday battle,” the Sheriff said. In the last two years LANEG has seized over 10 pounds of meth and over $40,000 in cash from Laclede County drug dealers.
“Not added to our local numbers was 37 pounds of cocaine seized in Phelps County by the highway patrol. The trooper assigned to the task force in Laclede County, as part of Lake Area Narcotics Enforcement Group, assisted in that investigation, which resulted in arrest in New York city,” Millsap said. That seizure netted $80,000 in drug proceeds.
“LANEG’s focus is long term investigations. In Laclede County we have one task force officer assigned to the county, and a MSHP sergeant assigned to narcotics, who is part of LANEG, who works the county as well.” The county and Lebanon Police Department pay a fee to be part of the task force. “The money is a good investment. As small agencies, both us and Lebanon PD, do not have the resources to invest in long-term investigations and expertise for narcotic investigations.” In the last two years LANEG has arrested 51 suspects in Laclede County and the vast majority of their arrest, are results of long-term investigations and are suspects involved in the distribution of methamphetamine.
While the enforcement numbers represent local law enforcements efforts to address drug dealers the Sheriff’s Office is proud to play a role in the new Laclede County Drug Treatment Court. “Our role has been to monitor and mentor those who have been selected as participants in the court,” the Sheriff added. Drug court participants are offenders selected by the court, who are not involved in the distribution of narcotics, but are battling drug addiction, which has landed them in the criminal justice system.
“Our role has been very small, but members on the drug court team are putting in a lot of time and effort into the program, in an effort to get the participants over their addiction. Daily, I see emails from those working directly with participants and I am amazed how hard they are working to help others, in a much different way than in the past. For the most part, those who have been selected have made great progress in their personal development. I really think good things are coming from this effort.” In addition, the Sheriff’s Office continues to partner with the Lebanon Kiwanis Club, Laclede County Drug Council, Boswell and Joel E. Barber teachers and administrators to present the LEAD (Laclede Education Against Drugs) program. This educational program was developed by Reserve Deputy Roger Sherrer and in the past five years nearly 3,000 students have gone through the program. Recently, a shorten version of the program was presented to students in Conway by Deputy Matt Frederick. “I made a commitment in 2017, when I came into office, that we would battle the drug issue on a number of fronts, enforcement, treatment and education, and we have done that, but again it is an everyday battle.”