JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - In just a few years time, the way people get narcotics has changed drastically. For law enforcement officials, it's a dangerous shift.
"The old meth labs that we used to see, unfortunately we saw them routinely, weekly if not daily, they're not out there anymore," Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd said.
Sheriff Boyd said instead of meth labs, his deputies now mainly work against drug trafficking.
"A lot of times we're dealing with dangerous individuals," Sheriff Boyd said. "We're dealing with larger amounts of narcotics now, so it's more money involved."
The Craighead County Sheriff's Department made a big trafficking bust Wednesday when they arrested Phillip Stacey of Paragould.
Inside Stacey's car, deputies found two pounds of methamphetamine, a loaded gun and two boxes of ammunition. $3,000 in cash was also found inside the car.
"It's so profitable that anyone is capable of doing it," Sheriff Boyd said.
Sheriff Boyd said tackling the drug trafficking problem is a high-risk one though.
"It is an operation that is connected to some of the cartels," Sheriff Boyd said. "The individuals that we're facing today are different than we were even five years ago."
Sheriff Boyd said the shift in how people obtain narcotics is one reason they felt getting a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, or MRAP, was so important.
"We saw the scales of the individuals and the crimes escalating," Sheriff Boyd said. "I believe in being above that point."
Drug dogs also play an important role in making drug trafficking busts. Sheriff Boyd said his officers are also trained to determine where drugs might be hidden in a vehicle.
However, he said this isn't a battle one single agency can take on.
"We can start on a case here and wind up in Arizona in one day, where the drugs originated from or came from," Sheriff Boyd said. "It takes multiple agencies and multiple levels to combat this problem."
Sheriff Boyd said thankfully, that usually results in multiple arrests.
Though no additional arrests have been made in the drug trafficking case against Stacey, Sheriff Boyd said he hopes more will be made. However, since the case remains under investigation, Sheriff Boyd couldn't speak more on the issue.
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