29 Drug Related Arrests in Jefferson City's "Spring Roundup"

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Police Department said it made a total of 29 arrests in the past few weeks as part of its "Spring Roundup."

The Jefferson City Police Department and the MUSTANG Drug Task Force made several searches the first week of April, placing a heavy emphasis on heroin dealers.

"First phase took place a few weeks ago where we arrested a number of people, 14 I believe at that time that dealt specifically with narcotics violations to include of course heroin," said Captain Doug Shoemaker of the Jefferson City Police Department.

Since then, in the second phase, there have been a total of 15 arrests, with 9 of those people taken into custody for either possession or distribution of heroin.

If you posses heroin in Missouri, you will be charged with a Class C Felony with a maximum jail sentence of seven years and $5,000 in fines.

There also have been arrests for cocaine, marijuana and other drug paraphernalia, but Captain Shoemaker said the main issue is how many people have died due to heroin overdoses.

"The issue of course with heroin is how many overdoses we've had in, over the last recent months and we really want to prevent those persons or other people from overdosing on heroins, which can obviously be fatal," Shoemaker said.

In March, there were three overdoses in one weekend with two deadly instances happening at the American Best Value Inn in Jefferson City.

KOMU 8 News spoke with the manager of the American Best Value Inn, he refused to give us his full name. He said there is tight security at the motel, with four cameras at the different entrances but he can't ask the customers what they have in their bags because of privacy issues.

He said he checks to make sure everyone staying at the motel have a valid forms of identification but can't do anything beyond that if he doesn't see anything suspicious.

However, several workers from businessess around the area, who wouldn't give reveal their names, told KOMU 8 News they have seen, and are aware of suspicious activities going on within the establishment.

One person, who didn't want to go on camera for privacy reasons, said she caught on that there were illegal activities going at the motel more than a year ago. Captain Shoemaker also said there have been other complaints of narcotics from the location as well.

The managers and workers from surrounding restaurants and hotels told KOMU 8 News the overdose incident hasn't had an effect on their businesses and believe the arrests are a positive thing.

Captain Shoemaker said even though all of the arrests are from both phases of the "Spring Roundup," investigations into drug problems in the city are ongoing.

"You don't want to arrest one person when they can lead you to another person, so there's continuous investigation that takes up a lot of work and a lot of time," said Shoemaker.

One worker agrees that this is a positive effort from the city's police force but believes officals need to get more information from the drug dealers they arrest in order for there to be a bigger impact.

Captian Shoemaker didn't know or want to reveal too much information on what was coming next but ensures people that they'll continue to have an "aggressive stance toward this type of thing."

If you have any information about drugs in your neighborhood, call a Jefferson City Police Department detective or call (573)-659-TIPS (8477).