Monroe County Sheriff’s Dept: Drug activity, drug arrests both up, age addiction starts going down

ABERDEEN, Miss. (WCBI) – Monday, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department released a detailed list of the results of its felony drug investigations so far in 2022.

It adds up to 59 felony drug charges, which puts the department on pace for 180 felony drug cases by the end of the year. The charges include 15 cases of selling meth, three counts of selling cocaine, and over 20 counts for possession of meth, cocaine and hydrocodone.

Monroe County Sheriff Kevin Crook says that overdoses are on the rise over the last few years, and they’ve found that the deadlier the drug, the more popular it is.

“Some areas are more prevalent in cocaine, some areas more methamphetamine, some areas more marijuana,” he says. “Heroin, it seems like, has been on the rise.”

Sheriff Crook says that while these numbers show drug activity increasing, the investigations leading to drug arrests are going up as well. The sheriff says they’ve made at least 10 felony drug arrests per month to reach these 59 charges.

“We will use undercover agents to go in and do a deal, make a buy,” says Lt. Michael Loden of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department’s Narcotics Division. “See where this investigation will take us. (See) if it’ll take us to someone else, the bigger fish so to speak.”

However, Lt. Loden and Sheriff Crook both say that many of these drug offenders are becoming addicted at younger and younger ages.

“These younger people are being brought up into this,” Lt. Loden says. “They’re being raised into it.”

Sometimes by no choice of their own.

“We’re having to make arrests for felony child abuse because of infants being born with drugs in their system,” says Sheriff Crook.

Between the time of their arrest and the time they go to court, Sheriff Crook says they continue to try and counsel the people they arrest on taking steps towards rehabilitation.

“Because at the end of the day, that’s what we want. We don’t want them locked up,” the sheriff says. “We have to lock them up, we will, but we want them to be clean. We want them to be productive (in society).”

Sheriff Crook says that in 2022, they have had 17 felony drug cases presented to a grand jury and all of them have led to indictments.

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