By District Attorney Ryan Sayers
2023 Vol. 42
This week, I am starting a multi-week discussion about drug trafficking operations and prosecutions in Clearfield County. This week I will talk about the different agencies that are working to help stop drug trafficking in Clearfield County.
As everyone should be aware at this point, the drug epidemic is a plague on our communities, our businesses and our families.
A majority of criminal cases in Clearfield County are either directly or indirectly related to drugs and drug use.
Obviously these include drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession with the intent to deliver, drug delivery resulting in death and driving under the influence.
However, it also includes thefts and burglaries to pay for the addiction, as well as, physical assaults, sexual assaults and domestic violence while individuals are high.
This is such a massive problem that it requires multiple agencies and different levels of government to fight back against it. We are fortunate in Clearfield County that over the last four years there has been a strong coordinated effort to find dealers that are bringing this poison into our area.
However, having such a united front and diverse resources available does not and will not fix the problem overnight. With that said, it is a step in the right direction.
Over the last four years, there have been two federal operations that highlighted the coordinated efforts of law enforcement, and there were Operation Crystal Highway and Operation Return to Sender.
These operations brought together the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office.
Additionally, the Drug Enforcement Agency, Federal Postal Inspectors, Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania State Police Vice Unit, agents with the Attorney General’s Office and municipal law enforcement officers.
These two federal operations had the benefit of going across state lines and disrupting the pipelines coming from cartels in Mexico.
However, these are not the only operations that have occurred in Clearfield County. The Pennsylvania State Police Vice Unit, agents with the Attorney General’s Office, officers with the DuBois City Drug & Vice Unit, officers with the drug task force and municipal police officers are regularly working informants, doing controlled buys, executing search warrants and observing suspected dealers in Clearfield County.
The efforts of these officers and agencies frequently lead to arrests and seizure of drugs before they get to the streets.
People ask, “what are you and law enforcement doing about the drugs,” and my response is, “more than you know and realize.”
I say this because these operations are constantly happening, but they take time. Law enforcement does not want to just charge the user or a dealer of a small amount.
Instead, law enforcement wants to build a case to go after the larger dealers with the hope of taking down a network.
Next week, I will explain why some cases that are originally handled or filed in Clearfield County get referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Once again, if you have any questions that you would like answered in this weekly article before the end of the year, please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ryan Sayers is the elected District Attorney of Clearfield County, Pennsylvania.
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