By Patrick Yost staff writer
With the third methamphetamine arrest in as many weeks, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Chris Bish is making no excuses for an operation against the distribution of methamphetamine that he calls a “crusade.” “I’m tired of it,” Bish, a former GBI investigator says, “ When you see the thefts and burglaries its all related to meth.” On Thursday, June 19 Morgan County investigators and deputies arrested Joseph B. Huff, 32, Buckhead at his Bethany Road residence. The arrests, according to Bish, came after the execution of a search warrant at Huff’s residence in which a quarter ounce of suspected methamphetamine, scales, smoking apparatus, distribution records, a handgun and other drug paraphernalia was seized. Huff was charged with possession of marijuana with then intent to distribute and possession of marijuana. Recently investigators have arrested William H. Paden, 44 and Joshua Mobley, 34, Godfrey and in both arrests confiscated suspected methamphetamine and cash. Bish said both men are suspected of being notable Morgan County dealers of the drug. But, he says, there is a plan. The arrests and the “crusade” are all “resource driven,” Bish says, The more resources the department can throw at the problem the tighter the local meth market would become.
Currently one detective has worked most of the leads in the meth trade and several officers add time and energy to the effort. “We began this crusade against methamphetamine a long time ago,” he says. Bish said meth addicts are constantly searching for quick cash to consummate a sale. Cash, he says, comes from burglaries and crimes of opportunity.
“it’s an epidemic that drives other crimes.” To that end Morgan County law enforcement is working to make dealing methamphetamine in Morgan a frustrating and dangerous occupation. “We want to make it more difficult.” The efforts are “methodical and strategic,” Bish says with the goal of driving meth dealers far from Morgan. And while he acknowledges that arrests and confiscations won’t stop the epidemic, Bish says he is provincial when it comes to making it uncomfortable to deal in Morgan. “We’re here to disrupt it. If it displaces (dealers) to other (communities) so be it.” And, he says, the arrests will continue. “There are certain individuals whose names constantly surface in our investigations.” “There are still people on our target list.”