MILLEDGEVILLE — A multi-county agency works in partnership with other local agencies to bust drug-related crimes.
The Ocmulgee Drug Task Force is a multi-jurisdictional drug task force funded by the Criminal Justice Council (CJCC) with cash matching funds from local law enforcement agencies to prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute drug-related crimes. Officers works alongside law enforcement agencies from Baldwin, Wilkinson, Washington, Putnam, Morgan and Greene counties.
“The task force does a tremendous job working with all the counties. It’s unbelievable how much we’ve accomplished in our partnership with them,” said drug task force commander Wesley Nunn.
Created in 1980, the dedication of the agents within the task force has been exhibited for more than 33 years.
“Every day is different but that’s what I like about it. You never know what you’ll be dealing with on a daily basis,” said one of the agents.
Because of the nature of the work of the task force, the location along with the names of the agents must remain undisclosed.
The agents’ main duty is to investigate activities associated with the distribution of drugs. The task is achieved through various techniques such as surveillance, search warrants, documented criminal intelligence, confidential informants and undercover operatives. The best resource the task force has access to are concerned citizens, according to Nunn.
“The citizens who are around it everyday see more than their fair share of drug activity and are fed up with it. The anonymous tips that we receive help us uncover drug operations that we would otherwise not have known about,” he said.
All information obtained by the agents is kept in case files and stored both electronically and in hard copy form. Within the hard copy case file room, some records date back as late as 1990.
“We keep the case files on hand so we can go back and study them, or perhaps notice a pattern of activity within a certain area,” said Nunn.
For Nunn, the best part of being a part of the drug task force is getting drugs off the streets.
“A lot of these drug organizations feel they are above the law and can’t be touched,” he said. “The best feeling is going in there and breaking up their organization. It lets them know that the police are still here, and we’re doing what we can to get the drugs off the streets.”
According to Nunn, the mission of the Ocmulgee Drug Task Force is to aggressively seek out, dismantle and prosecute drug trafficking organizations (DTOs), drug traffickers and drug related violent criminals. To continue toward meeting this objective, the task force has quarterly board meetings to discuss issues of concern for each district. The board consists of all sheriffs and police chiefs from each district served as well as state patrol troopers.
“We meet to discuss the goals that each person wants for their particular jurisdiction and whether or not the drug task force has helped them achieve those goals. If not, we talk about what can be done to get closer to their ideal target,” said Nunn.
Technology has played a key factor in the drug task force. As technology and trends change, the agents at the task force must stay one step ahead of the drug dealers.
“It’s been interesting to see how technology has changed the drug business over the years,” said one agent. “With cell phones being used for more than just talking, drug dealers are taking full advantage of this new technology.”
As technology changes, drugs trend appear to change with it. The new drug facing the task force is bath salts containing synthetic chemicals that are considered more potent and potentially more addictive than methamphetamine, according to a study by the Scripps Research Institute.
“We’ve seen at least two bath salt cases thus far and those were very recent,” said Nunn.
All confiscated items from drug arrests are auctioned on GovDeals.com. GovDeals provides services to various government agencies that allow them to sell surplus and confiscated items via the Internet. This includes vehicles, firearm accessories and computers. A percentage of the profit made from the sold items is divided between the Ocmulgee Drug Task Force and the law enforcement agency that worked the case.
To make an anonymous tip or report drug activity call the Ocmulgee Drug Task Force tip line at 478-414-5997.