For the past three weeks, the Jefferson City Police Department Community Action Team (CAT) has been conducting a joint operation with the MUSTANG Drug Task Force as part of an ongoing effort against heroin distribution.
The operation has been comprised of investigations involving covert purchases of drugs from primarily heroin dealers.
So far the police department and Cole County Sheriff's Department's SWAT Teams have served search warrants and consent searches at eight residences which resulted in the seizure of heroin, crack cocaine, marijuana, a handgun, as well as items associated with the packaging and distribution of controlled substances and drug money.
The residences searched were located in the following areas:
10 Jackson Street
1600 block of Paddlewheel Circle
3700 block of Randall Drive
300 block of West Ashley Street
400 block of Hutton Lane
300 block of Washington Street
1400 block of Elizabeth Street
1600 block of Jefferson Street
Also, the operation has resulted in 17 arrests with the majority related to heroin distribution.
Among the arrests, police said five suspects are identified as relatively high level heroin dealers
These five have been formally charged with distribution of controlled Heroin by the Cole County Prosecutors Office. They are:
Lamar Johnson, aka "Burner," 31, St. Louis.
Chad White, aka "Slim," 36, Jefferson City.
Mark Parker, aka "Markie," 41, Jefferson City.
Elonzo Johnson, aka "Big Bear," 42, Jefferson City.
Augustus Armstead, aka "Cash," 24, Jefferson City.
Authorities said Heroin continues to be the primary focus of CAT team investigations.
This operation marks the third drug sweep with an emphasis on heroin distribution conducted by the Jefferson City Police Department and MUSTANG Drug Task Force this year.
So far this year, the sweeps have resulted in more than eighty arrests primarily involving heroin distribution.
Additional arrests are expected in the near future.
Jefferson City narcotics investigators report a decrease in the accessibility of heroin as well as a decrease in the number of heroin-related overdoses and that may be due to the "zero tolerance" stance authorities took in response to the area's 2011-2012 increase in heroin-related overdoses.