Illegal narcotics have lasting effects on communities, users, and often victimize those that cannot defend themselves. In June 2012, our department conducted a child abuse investigation. An adult female was charged with third-degree assault, malicious punishment of a child, and child neglect for assaulting and leaving bruises and hand marks on her two-year-old daughter’s buttocks, chest, face, and arm. She became angry with her child for breaking her cigarettes and losing her car keys. She was an admitted methamphetamine addict and was high on methamphetamine at the time of the assault.
Narcotics Investigators give presentations to educate our citizens and community leaders on the issues and concerns with narcotics and gangs. This allows us to build partnerships that assist us in our efforts to battle these issues. Our presentations have been used and shared with several other law enforcement agencies. Investigators have given presentations throughout the state at various conferences and we are proud that they are recognized at this level for their work and efforts. Our Narcotics Investigators gave 19 narcotics/gang presentations to approximately 775 citizens from our community and state in 2012.
All of our Narcotics Investigators are assigned to the Red River Valley Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force (RRVTF). Since 1992, we have partnered with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and have been successful in receiving grant funding to offset some of the cost of salaries for these officers. Grant funding also allows us to partner with the local Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Drug Task Force. This relationship allows investigators to start a case with a local user and follow them all the way up to the source of supply that may be established in another state. This type of investigation will often result in federal charges through the Unites States Attorneys’ Office and prosecution of drug traffickers responsible for bringing large quantities of narcotics to the Red River Valley. An average 2012 defendant prison sentence for a narcotics case prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office was 7.87 years.
The Red River Valley Drug & Gang Task Force is a cooperative partnership between local, state and federal agency resources to provide an effective drug enforcement effort. We do this through information sharing, commitment, dedication and working together with a unified command structure to reduce drug trafficking and its consequences. By completing this mission we will improve the safety and quality of life for our citizens and communities.
The Narcotics Division participates in the Clay County Adult Drug Court Team. Drug Courts are very popular throughout the United States and were created for the following purposes:
- Reduce the revolving door of crime and drugs by providing treatment to drug-addicted, criminal offenders
- Reduce domestic violence
- Reduce property crimes
- Decrease use of public assistance
- Reduce court, jail, and prison overcrowding and costs
Drug Courts require strict accountability from program participants through frequent in-person court hearings and intensive monitoring. Participants are required to abstain from alcohol and drug use, participate in treatment programs, and be employed or attending a post-secondary educational facility.
The Clay County team consists of a program coordinator, a judge, law enforcement, prosecutors, social services, probation, and defense attorneys. The team meets weekly to discuss current participants, new participants, and regularly reviews the goals and objectives of the program.