City officials hope to end the cycle of drug activity after major bust

Sheriff's and District Attorney's offices hope to end the cycle of drug activity after drug sweep

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Lowndes County deputies have been working to slow drug activity across the county.

They’re hoping a major drug sweep last Friday put a dent in it.

“These people keep continuing to commit these types of crimes. And here in Lowndes County, we’re not going to tolerate it,” Sheriff Eddie Hawkins said.

25 people were arrested Friday morning during a major drug sweep in Lowndes County. It was the culmination of a 15-month investigation.

“The people we had on our list to arrest, had 304 prior arrests including 45 felonies and 259 misdemeanor arrests. So the people that are
committing these crimes, they’re career offenders,” Hawkins said.

Most had been arrested for drug crimes before and Sheriff Eddie Hawkins said nine have been bonded out and been released.

District Attorney Scott Colom said there has to be a focus on keeping suspects from becoming repeat offenders.

“We’re just back in a cycle because we, the Sherriff ends up arresting them, we end up prosecuting them, they end up going back to that same system, it can feel like an unsuccessful cycle. So as much as we can try to interrupt that and have a little more local control because we have to deal with the local consequences of it,” Colom said.

District Attorney Colom said the key to keeping criminals from being repeat offenders is to improve education and rehabilitation for those who have been incarcerated.

“As much as possible, we want to try to get people that have found themselves in the spiral of drugs use the public health they need to no longer be a harm to themselves and to their family and to their community. If the department of correction gives permission to the sheriff’s office, then people at the county jail can be held
while they’re serving time and be offered services that can be locally controlled,” Colom added.

Hawkins and Colom said that it takes more than just the judicial system and law enforcement to change the cycle in the future.

“This whole operation stemmed from the community reaching out to us and giving complaints and tips on people who are dealing drugs. And so we can actually get out here and investigate it and actually bring them to justice. Then it’s going to make our community better,” Hawkins said.

“Drug addiction is a tough thing to fight but the first step is recognizing the problem. That takes partnership with the sheriff’s office, with the courts and also with the community,” Colom said.

The Sheriff’s Department is asking the community to continue their support in the fight against drugs.

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