By Steven Sandberg
MEDFORD, Ore. — After busting several large-scale drug trafficking organizations, the Medford Drug and Gang Enforcement Team is given more help fighting crime.
Those officers say simply having enough money is crucial when going up against large drug trafficking rings. The drug trade is big money and police officers say it takes big money to fight it. Everything from equipment, to overtime hours, to money used in undercover drug buys but often it’s enough to land more drug traffickers here behind bars.
The MADGE team was awarded a $100,000 grant from federal and state drug enforcement agencies… Thanks to the team’s work from the past year. Just last month, MADGE teamed with other agencies to conduct operation clear green, which resulted in the arrests of 15 members of a major drug trafficking ring in Southern Oregon.
That investigation seized one thousand marijuana plants, along with meth, cocaine, guns, and 30 thousand dollars. They say those investigations take a lot of time, manpower, and undercover work and receiving this type of money can only help their efforts.
“We have a lot of investigators, a lot of investigations going on at any one time, from gas to guns and anything in between, it costs money,” says MADGE Lt. Brett Johnson.
Various agencies teamed up to take down a cocaine trafficking ring last year and a heroin trafficking organization that was busted in the fall of 2009. The MADGE team presents their results each year to receive state and federal funding and they say they are already scheduled to receive a $125,000 grant next year.