BEEVILLE – Bee County law enforcement is joining forces with Victoria to pool their resources in the ongoing battle against illegal drug trafficking.
Known as the Crossroads Task Force, this partnership will give deputies here more resources without added expenses.
Roy Boyd, chief deputy in Victoria, spoke to county commissioners here about this program at Monday’s court meeting, saying, “This was initially for Victoria and surrounding counties.
“We quickly realized we needed to expand in certain areas and especially those areas where we have key partnerships.
“It will provide for y’all, as us, with a force multiplier without the expenditure of local tax dollars. And, of course, that’s something that we’re all very sensitive to.”
Boyd, after the meeting, said that while this effort is limited to equipment, it could eventually include pay for additional manpower when needed.
“We are hoping down the line we will begin receiving overtime funding,” Boyd said.
The partnership thus far, Boyd told commissioners, has been able to get a significant number of drug dealers off the street.
“Since the inception of the task force in January, we have written 161 criminal cases.
“We’ve identified 280 drug dealers. So far we’ve arrested 188 of those drug dealers.
“We’ve seized over 130 pounds of marijuana and over $600,000 in drug money.
“So it’s been a very successful initiative thus far.”
Expanding this program — which includes thoroughfares known for trafficking — will increase the number of arrests.
“We reached out to Sheriff (Alden) Southmayd because we’ve had a long-standing partnership with the Bee County Sheriff’s Office,” Boyd said. “They’ve helped us out on some things that they had experience with and we didn’t.”
While the task force doesn’t fund salaries, it could mean additional officers, or expert analysts, here when the sheriff plans a drug interdiction operation.
“If we need help running any kind of operation, just manpower, they will supply that,” Southmayd said. That isn’t to downplay the equipment such as license plate readers, that the task force can provide to deputies here.
If another county needs assistance, then Bee County deputies could be called to assist.
And the spoils of the seizures are divided among the agencies participating.
“All of these years, there has been all this information fed back and forth about drug and money trafficking,” Southmayd said. “We have not been involved in it. This will open that door for us.”
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5221, or at media@mySouTex.com.