Local law enforcement held a drug roundup on Wednesday afternoon, during which officers apprehended 17 people in the span of four hours.
“This is a drug roundup,” said Lafayette Police Chief Ray Amalfitano. “It’s with the city of Lafayette in conjunction with the 15 Task force and several other departments. So we’ve got everybody teamed up and they go out in four or five groups, and start bringing them in.”
Most of the arrestees exited police vehicles and entered the Police Station quietly, although officers said that getting them into a police vehicle in the first place can be bit more challenging with meth cases. “Usually they’ll run from you,” said Amalfitano. “They’ll do anything they can to get away from you.”
Twenty-seven drug-related court indictments from the 15th District General Court prompted the organization of the mission, which was referred to by the men as Operation Ridge Runner.
“This is how it works,” said Trousdale County Chief Deputy Waylan Cothron. “The 15th drug task force has done some drug investigations, and taken those to the grand jury. These indictments came down all at once, and then the other day we met to discuss serving those indictments as directed by the court.
“They’ve given us a piece of paper with their names; they say ‘you take this to this person and bring them before the court’. The indictments have been out since the grand jury met. And we’ve been waiting for the opportunity to serve them. And when we serve them, they’ll be processed in whatever county they occurred, no matter where the person resides: booking, finger prints, mugshot, and they’ll have an opportunity to make bond. So they’ll post bond and then they’ll appear in the Macon or Trousdale general courts.”
“The Lafayette Police Department, Trousdale County Sheriff Department, Smith County Sheriff, and 15th District Task Force were involved today,” said Mike Thompson, Director of the District 15 Drug Task Force. “There were right at 27 people charged. We’re lucky if we get 50% of that in a day like this. Charges range from manufacture of meth, manufacture of methamphetamines in a school zone—this is a class that carries 15-25 years—and child abuse for cooking drugs near children, down to people possessing small amounts for personal use. Also a lot of smurfers—what we call smurfers—purchasing prescription drugs illegally; they’ll sell Sudafed for $50-$100 a box. Or they sell prescriptions medicine they shouldn’t be selling.”