Nine people have been arrested in a “roundup” of suspected drug dealers this week in the areas of the Parker Strip and the north part of Parker valley.
According to the La Paz County Sheriff’s Office, on November 18th, 2014, the Narcotics Task Force made the arrests in the roundup which consisted of officers/agents from the La Paz County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado River Indian Tribes, the U.S. Border Patrol and the Parker Police Department.
The arrests come as part of a series of drug-related investigations across the County. During these investigations, undercover detectives and confidential informants have been purchasing methamphetamine, heroin and other drugs from several alleged dealers. After making multiple purchases from each target, the Task Force presents the cases to the local judge who issues a warrant for the suspect’s arrest.
“This specific round up is closing out a series of investigations that cover the unincorporated area of the Parker Strip and the Parker Valley within the CRIT Jurisdiction,” a Sheriff’s Office press release said.
The arrests included Patricia Standley, Thomas King, Wendy Tatum, Sandra Hoover, Eric Smith and Sheryl Thomas from the Upriver region of the Parker Strip (north of Parker, AZ); and Brian Eberle, Jessica Davis and Victoria Escorza from the north part of the Parker valley. The investigation associated with Eric Smith was conducted in 2013 with the assistance of the Parker Police Department.
There have been a lot of questions in the past asking why it takes so long for the Task Force to arrest drug dealers for the alleged offenses,” said Sheriff’s Lt. Curt Bagby. “What the citizens need to understand is the dangers associated with these types of investigations. When an informant is deployed into a residence to purchase some type of contraband, there are two things we take into consideration. The first is we need to establish that they are a drug dealer and that this isn’t a one-time offense. This is done by purchasing the drug multiple times. The second issue we have is if we send an informant into a residence or business to buy the drug and we immediately arrest the suspect, it will identify who the informant is and not only put them in danger but it may affect their ability to continue to assist the Task Force with other cases.”
The La Paz County Task Force would like to remind everyone to make a difference in your neighborhoods and call in suspicious activity. You can call the La Paz County Central Dispatch (928) 669-2281, or the Task Force at 928-669-9645. You can also go to lapazsheriff.org and send an anonymous message describing your concerns or observations.
Editor’s note: Parker Live always likes to remind the public that all of these people are to be considered innocent of any crime unless and until they are proven guilty in a court of law.