The men and women of the Gila County Narcotics and Violent Crimes Task Force worked round the clock last year to put an end to the flow of illegal drugs in the Rim country.
For their efforts, the local task force was recently awarded the Northern Operation Bureau Criminal Investigation Squad of the Year award by the Arizona Department of Public Service.
Task Force Commander Steve Craig said he was proud of the award, but was even more pleased with the success of the operation over the past year.
In 1998, the task force made 374 arrests, 213 more than the previous year. Of those, 305 suspects were arrested on drug-related charges, 66 search warrants were executed, and more than 938 grams of methamphetamines were seized.
While statistics were unavailable for previous years, Craig said these figures represent a lot of work by a squad of dedicated agents.
The Gila County task force is made up of officers from the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Payson, Globe and Miami police departments, and the Gila County Sheriff's Department.
Drugs by the numbers
Seized by the Gila County Narcotics and Violent Crimes Task Force in 1998:
- Cocaine: 312.74 grams
• Marijuana: 319.12 pounds
• Marijuana plants: 87 plants
• Heroin: 8.79 grams
• Methamphetamines: 938.81 grams
• LSD: 37 dosage units
• Other drug types: 28 dosage units
- Cash: $70,365.17
Total value of seized items: $88,331.17