Technology increasing danger for narcotics agents

TUPELO – Technology is putting narcotics agents in a dangerous position when trying to take down meth manufacturers.
Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson said he has noticed a trend over the past couple of months of meth manufacturers using high-tech surveillance equipment to take away the element of surprise from authorities.
Because agents depend on catching drug dealers off guard when executing search warrants, Johnson said with that element of surprise shrinking agents are facing some serious dangers.
“We are seeing high-tech motion sensors, camera systems and other things that alert drug dealers that authorities are coming,” said Johnson. “We depend on being able to catch the bad guys when they least expect it and this helps to keep us safe in the process. But now we are seeing that becoming more difficult. When people know you are coming to arrest them anything can happen and that worries us.”
During a search at 515 County Road 1451, Saltillo on Monday agents with the North Mississippi Narcotics Unit arrested Randy Trulove, 47, and charged him with attempt to manufacture meth. Johnson said when agents arrested Trulove they found motion sensors and video surveillance all around his property. His bond was set at $25,000.
Capt. Paul Howell said narcotic agents are having to change the way they take down meth labs because of the use of the technology.
“We can’t just go in and kick the door in like we use to,” said Howell. “We’re having to be more crafty now. We’re having to wait until they leave the house and things like that. One thing that worries us is that all of these guys we’ve arrested have had multiple guns in the home. That is not a good combination.”
Fifteen guns were confiscated from Trulove’s home during his arrest.
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.

Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal