Drug sweeps

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Statistics show hike in amount confiscated in 2006



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Statistics recently released indicate Selma police were more aggressive in making drug arrests and seizing dope, cash and vehicles in 2006.

The Selma Police Department’s Narcotics Division showed fewer drug arrests, but a marked increase in the amount of drugs and funds confiscated, and vehicles seized in 2006, over the previous year. According to the annual statistics released by the SPD, there were no vehicles seized in 2005. There were 32 cars, trucks and sport utilities confiscated in 2006 as a result of drug arrests.

The next big difference displayed through a comparison of annual numbers show the Narcotics Division seized drugs with a total cash value of $250,131 in 2006.

In 2005, there were drugs seized in busts for the year totaled $49,413, according to the data.

Funds and property seized as a result go through a condemnation process, and the proceeds are handed over to police to be used in the war on drugs.

A marijuana bust involving growing plants near the Alabama River off Water Avenue in September 2006 brought the largest single haul, making the monthly total of cash value of drugs seized come to $106,920. While the illegal crop was harvested by police, there were no arrests made.

Statistics are kept by the SPD Narcotics Division, and are broken into categories that include felony and misdemeanor arrests, cash seized, weapons seized, cash value of drugs, undercover buys, found property and confiscated property.

In 2005, there were 85 felony arrests and 136 misdemeanor arrests.

In 2006, there were 122 felony drug arrests and 97 misdemeanor arrests made. The amount of currency seized in 2005 was $6,338, and $15,311 in cash seized in 2006, according to the data released.

During October 2006, there were 34 total drug arrests and 10 vehicles seized. Police Chief Jimmy Martin said the reason for the increased numbers is due to additions to the narcotics division and a more aggressive policy.

In 2005, the narcotics division seized eight weapons.

In 2006, there were 20 weapons seized.

The data does not indicate how many undercover buys were made in 2005, however, there were 65 buys made in 2006 by undercover officers.

Mayor James Perkins Jr. said city officials recognize that many crimes committed are drug related.