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1 decade 4 years 5 months ago Monday, October 03 2005 Oct 3, 2005 Monday, October 03, 2005 5:37:19 PM CDT October 03, 2005 in News
23 others were arrested on drug charges during a raid on September 30th.  A state drug task force caught the suspects after a year of undercover work.

Bongs, pipes, and bags of cocaine are just some of the drugs and paraphenalia and Corporal Travis Hitchcock and the East Central Task Force say they took away from Mexico's streets.

"It sends a message to the drug culture that they are being watched and they will be arrested if they continue to do the things that they do," explained Hitchcock who works for the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The suspects sold undercover officers marijuana, illegal mushrooms, cocaine, and ecstasy. Then on Friday, the force made its move.

"It was successful in the aspect that no one was hurt and we got almost all of our suspects," said Hitchcock.  8 suspects are still on the loose:
Justin C. Beal
Norman A. Dailey
Niki Lynn Maddox
Adarain L. Rummans
Chad M. Schreckengast
Sherita P. Thompson
Ashley L. Westrater
Emmanuel L. Williams

Besides the 8 still at large, Hitchcock says the raid is already reducing drug sales in Mexico.  "The night after this occured, I worked in a neighborhood that some of these suspects were arrested in. And the sales activity that I normally see was reduced to nothing."  Task force members hope Mexico sales remain that way.

Since its start in 2001, the East Central Drug Task Force arrests around 350 drug dealers each year.  The task force has law enforcement officers from Audrain, Montgomery and Pike counties and members of the state highway patrol.

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