"This is an important day for law enforcement because it tells us that when we combine our resources, we can do good things for the community," said Alabama's Middle District U.S. Attorney, Louis Franklin.
On Friday, Jan. 12, a joint press conference was held at the Enterprise Police Department to share an update on Operation Ice Dance, an effort between numerous organizations to stop the distribution of methamphetamine and heroin.
In their efforts, they have arrested 21 suspected drug traffickers and seized a kilogram of heroin and multiple kilograms of methamphetamine.
The investigation also led to the confiscation of firearms and a vehicle equipped with a device to conceal narcotics.
The agencies involved were the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Dothan, Enterprise, and Ozark police departments, Coffee and Houston County sheriff's offices, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Georgia State Police, Clayton County Sheriff's Office, Poarch Creek Tribal Indian Police Department, and the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
Franklin said it's the cooperative effort between all levels that led to the successful execution of the operation.
"Everybody is resource challenged," said Franklin. "So it's important that we combine our resources. We could not do this type of work without taking our resources and putting them together. In the last 25 years that I've been in the office, I can only think of two occasions, as I'm standing here today, where we've seized a kilogram of heroin, now that's a lot."
The investigation has lasted over two years and is still ongoing, as numerous officers continue to spend hours on the streets locating and arresting these suspects.
The arrests made so far charge five federal defendants with various narcotics trafficking crimes, including conspiracy, distribution and possession of methamphetamine and heroin.
The remaining sixteen defendants were arrested on related state charges.