WACO, Texas – The Waco Police Department Drug Enforcement Unit has conducted multiple undercover operations over the past few weeks targeting street level drug dealers within the community.

“The fact that we have nearly 2 dozen suspects just at the local level in this operation. We’ve already had 17 arrest today. We’re not going to stop until we get everybody arrested that there’s an outstanding warrant for,” said Waco’s Police Chief Ryan Holt.

Waco’s police chief calls the 17 arrests made today in the multi-agency operation a “success.”

Sylvester Bradley Vicki Allen Willis Rutledge

The months-long operation included Waco Police, Mclennan County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S Marshal Lone Star Fugitive task force.

It resulted in numerous drug arrests. The chief said Monday that marijuana being a small portion on the list.

“Today we’ve seen Cyrstal-meth, regular methanphedamine, cocaine, powdered cocaine, crack cocaine, heroine. We’re not immune to much in Waco. We’re seeing the same trends that other people are seeing around the country,” Holt listed.

Holt tells FOX 44 News the operation was not just in response to the spread of narcotics throughout the community but a method to dampen violent crimes that often realte to drug activity.

“When we see people shot at or shot or hurt in some way, both the suspects and the vicitm’s in these crimes its tied to violent crime,” said Holt.

Jamica Sandles Timothy Scott Carolyn Courtney

He shared that the department arrested several people accused of open-air drug dealing. He explain the term.

“So Open-air is literally folks standing in the street corner or on the curb selling narcotics to people either walking by, bicycling by, scooting by, or driving by in a car and there’s a trade there,” Holt said.

Rena Scaramucci Antonio Wilson

While some of that activity could be a common knowledge to many, Holt says their job in this operation was to prove it and do something about it.

He says his hope is that this operation sends out a clear message.

“The community expects us to do someting about the narcotics trade and the things that cuase violent crime in our community and we’re goin to be responsive. We’re not going to stand on our 20 years of decline in violent and nonviolent crime and we’re going to continue to try and make a Waco a better place to live,” said Holt.

Waco Police Chief Ryan Holt said in a statement:

“Despite rhetoric on the national level trying to say that narcotics offenses are victimless crimes, we continue to see violent acts committed in our community behind the narcotics trade. We see illegal drugs continue to tear apart families and good neighborhoods. Today’s operation comes as a direct result of our community leaders requesting something be done to stem the open air, street level drug dealing being seen in some areas. This was a multi-agency, long-term investigation that included the Waco Police Department Drug Enforcement Unit, Traffic Unit, Street Crimes Unit, K-9 Unit, McLennan County Sheriff’s Office Investigators, MSO FAST Team, and members of the US Marshal Lone Star Fugitive Task Force. I want to extend special thanks to the units and agencies involved in helping make Waco a safer community.”

– Waco Police Department Chief Ryan Holt

The following individuals were arrested during the operation for the following charges:

· Sylvester Bradley- Manu/Del Cont Sub Pen grp 1 (SJF) X 4

· Vicki Allen- Manu/Del Cont Sub Pen grp 1 (SJF)

· Jamica Sandles- Manu/Del Cont Sub Pen grp 1 (F2)

· Willis Rutledge- Forgery (3F) Manu/Del Cont Sub Pen grp 1 (SJF), Traffic X 7

· Timothy Scott- Manu/Del Cont Sub Pen grp 1 (SJF) X 2

· Antonio Wilson- Manu/Del Cont Sub Pen grp 1 (SJF), POCS Pen grp 1 U/1g SJF

· Pamela Ford- Manu/Del Cont Sub Pen grp 1 (SJF)

· Joseph Novotny- Traffic X 1

· Christopher Turner- Traffic X 1

· Tureshia McClennan-Traffic x 2

· Rena Scaramucci- POCS pen grp 1 1g U/4g (F3), Unauthorized use Motor vehicle (warrant) SJF, Traffic X 2

· Carolyn Courtney- POCS Pen grp 1 O1 – U 4g F3

· LaMarcus Lewis- Theft F/A by possession (SJF)

· Cloise Hicks- Traffic x 1

These efforts have resulted in the seizure of crack/cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy, and marijuana. In addition, a stolen firearm was also recovered.

Source: Waco Police Department