MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – According to Mobile Police, a three-month undercover operation has ended.
Operation West Side focused on Zeigler Boulevard, Athey and Cody Roads. WKRG News 5 dated the team, which performed the surgery three times in one week.
“We go after the low-level drug dealer in these operations a lot more often,” Mobile Police Capt. Jonathan Lee said.
“Often, the low-level drug trade can be more violent,” Lee said. “They’re more of a street corner or door-to-door drug business, and they can be more violent.”
“We still deal with quite a lot of crack cocaine from time to time,” said Public Safety Director Lawrence Battiste. “And methamphetamine really is one of the driving forces behind drugs here in the city of Mobile.”
Battiste said the goal is to get to the source of the distribution.
“We know that when we pick up some of the guys at the bottom, they help us get to the guys at the top, it’s a constant effort to find out who the players are,” Battiste said.
The enforcement we see here happens quickly, but the operation begins long before the police get involved.
“There’s a lot, a lot, a lot of hours that go into that,” Lee said. “Everything from controlling the purchases to the monitoring, the planning and the operational part because we want to take the drugs from the community but as safely as possible.”
The engagement factor helps keep the community, neighbors, and officers safe, who wear gloves to protect them from growing threats.
“Now you’re starting to see meth, crack and even marijuana all mixed up with fentanyl in some way,” Battiste said.
During the operation, police seized 4.5 pounds of marijuana, 4.5 grams of cocaine, 3.8 grams of meth, 40 hydrocodone pills, 31 grams of codeine syrup, $1,866 and five guns.
Officers arrested nine people. Five of them were targeted in the operation. They are Eldridge Rander, 19, Marquell Lee, 31, Christopher Coleman, 31, Dizzy Miller, 42, and Brandon Osburn, 34.
The other people arrested are Jaelin Williams (22), Donte Jackson (44), Felicia Reaser (47) and Paul Hart (53).
Mobile police officers are still looking for seven other targets. They are Joseph Dixon, 22, Willie Williams, 41, David Carlton, 26, Horatio Holifield, 37, Keantea Faulkner-Abrams, 27, Johnathan Wright, 27, and Samuel Jones, 41.
The operation hopes to make a difference in the communities around Zeigler Boulevard, Athey and Cody Roads, but the narcotics fight never ends.
“Drugs are like a fire. What they touch, they burn, they consume. And for the retailer, it’s a record. It might be a violent encounter,” Lee said. “It can be for the user [an] Seeks. Families are involved, children are traumatized.”