A Jasper man was arrested on drug charges Monday following an investigation by the Cordova Police Department and local members of the state’s newly …
A Jasper man was arrested on drug charges Monday following an investigation by the Cordova Police Department and local members of the state’s newly formed drug task force.
Raymond Lamont Cochran, 36, was charged with unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, three counts of possession of controlled substance and first-degree possession of marijuana.
According to court records, Cochran was given an unsecured bond.
The investigation began when Cordova Officer Krimson Culverson turned over information he had obtained to Cordova Police Chief Nick Smith, a member of the Alabama Drug Enforcement Task Force, and two Jasper police officers who also serve on the task force.
According to Smith, agents recovered heroin, methamphetamine-ice, cocaine and marijuana as well as individual small baggies commonly used to package and sell narcotics.
“The heroin recovered is a big win for the department and the community. There have been so many heroin overdoses recently that a large part of the efforts have been geared toward eliminating that particular problem. We couldn’t be more proud of the job done by Officer Culverson and the state task force,” Smith said.
Gov. Kay Ivey recently awarded grants totaling $1.3 million to establish a new drug task force that will operate throughout the state in cooperation with local and state law enforcement agencies.
The task force will be made up of more than 90 officers from more than 40 agencies, according to a Nov. 2 press release from the governor’s office.
“The illegal manufacturing, trafficking and sale of narcotics in Alabama is a problem for every part of the state and should be dealt with accordingly,” Ivey said in the release. “Through combined efforts and statewide cooperation, this new task force will allow local police, sheriff’s offices and district attorneys to work together with state police and investigators to remove more of this dangerous element from our communities.”
The Alabama Drug Enforcement Task Force will operate alongside 25 narcotics agents from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency forming seven regional multijurisdictional offices.
Each of the seven regional offices will receive a $193,235 grant, which will be used to help provide overtime for officers, pay for travel and training for agents, operational expenses and needed equipment.
Two officers from the Jasper Police Department are part of the drug task force, according to Jasper Police Chief J.C. Poe.
Their addition to the drug task force is a boon to the department and will provide for better enforcement of illegal drugs in the city.
“When asked if we wanted to be apart of this, I told them we definitely did,” Poe said.
The officers from Jasper will work on a part-time basis with the task force, Poe said. “This will be on an as-needed basis,” he said. “
Poe said his department could benefit from being part of the task force in the form of asset seizures made when his officers are involved in a case. JPD will also be financially reimbursed for any time and expenses its officers spend working with the task force.
Poe said having better access to information as to what goes on in the region will be beneficial, too.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Winston County Commission is the administering agency for the office that covers Walker, Winston, Colbert, Fayette, Franklin, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence and Marion counties.