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Changes in the works for Drug Task Force

The Lawrence County Drug Task Force will change slightly this year as newly elected Sheriff Tim Sexton settles into his post.

Tuesday, January 30, 2001

The Lawrence County Drug Task Force will change slightly this year as newly elected Sheriff Tim Sexton settles into his post.

The multi-agency task force operated from the prosecutor’s office in past years, with Sexton serving as director.

The big question is whether to move it to the sheriff’s office or keep it at the prosecutor’s office, he said.

"We’ve got the hotline still going on, and the (sheriff’s office) had one, so we will incorporate that for one line," Sexton said. "The main thing I think that would be an enhancement to drug enforcement in the county is to get everybody working together on the same page."

State officials approved another grant this year totaling $72,000, which includes a local match. Agencies participating include Coal Grove, Ironton, South Point, the prosecutor’s office and the sheriff’s office this year, he said.

Sexton said he wants to meet with other law enforcement agencies to see if they’re interested in participating.

"It’s very instrumental in providing information to suspected drug trafficking," he said.

The task force ended their latest year with 50 felony arrests.

"We still encourage people to report illegal drug activity to the hotline, which is a voice recording," Sexton said, adding that giving your name is voluntary.

Some problem areas agencies know about, and their working on them, so the task force asks for patience, he added.

"It’s not an overnight problem," he said. "Some arrests are not made immediately, but we’re working hard on all tips."

The hotline phone number is 533-5511. Calls can be made anonymously.

The task force might also receive extra help from the county again this year.

Sexton recently requested an extra $15,000 from county commissioners to supplement the task force.

Last year, it helped pay for extra part-time undercover officers, he said.