THE WAR on drugs is one that is one that is never ending. In Eastern Ohio, we are fortunate to have the Belmont County Drug Task Force leading the fight.
Although the flow of illegal drugs will never be totally eradicated, the local task force has made major inroads in snarling the operations. Large amounts of illegal drugs and many trafficking suspects are off the streets because of the passionate work of the task force.
The illegal drug trade, however, is taking new routes these days.
The postal service is becoming more and more an unwilling player in the movement of drugs. Fortunately, due to well-trained postal workers and large doses of teamwork and communication, more busts are coming to fruition.
The Neffs and Martins Ferry post offices have seen illegal drug packages come into their respective facilities. Both were cast as suspicious by postal workers when the addresses came back as non-existent or names did not match the addresses.
Their concerns are forwarded to the postal inspector in Cleveland, who then brings the local authorities into the legal loop. Drug dogs identify the packages in question, leading to subsequent arrests.
It is teamwork personified, cooperation which leads to getting drugs off the streets and putting criminals in jail.
"We are learning more and with the training the task force officers go through, they are learning new tricks," said Belmont County Drug Task Force Commander John McFarland. "We learn that there are a lot drugs being sent through the UPS, Fed Ex and the postal service."
The task force is working hard to stay on top of the local drug traffic. Despite limited manpower and the long hours involved, the task force has performed masterfully in that regard. With that said, the task force can use any assistance possible to keep pace with the changing face of drug trafficking.
The cooperation between the postal service and drug task force is one that has already paid dividends. It is a relationship that should continue help to short-circuit drug trafficking.