|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company
Series of drug arrests planned
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – The arrest of a 27-year-old Huntsville man last week kicked off what police are calling a sweep targeting local mid-level drug distributors. Jose Cunningham Sr., formerly of Trinity, was arrested Thursday, May 24, by Trinity police armed with a pair of state jail felony warrants charging him with manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance. He was released on Friday after posting bonds totaling $50,000. “This will be the first of several arrests that we will be making following a six-month drug investigation,” Trinity Police Chief Steve Jones said. Jones said that police have been gathering evidence electronically and through intelligence gained during the arrest of a number of suspected drug dealers to build cases. The chief said Cunningham is a suspected member of a gang of mid-level drug distributors who are supplying methamphetamines as well as crack cocaine to a number of drug dealers in Trinity. Jones said the primary drug being distributed by the gang is the so-called “Mexican meth” that is smuggled over the border from Mexican drug cartels. The police chief said restrictions on the sale of pseudoephedrine in the United States is making it harder to manufacture the drug here. Pseudoephedrine, a primary ingredient in methamphetamines, is used in the manufacture of a number of cold medications. Under U.S. law, anyone seeking to purchase a cold medication with this ingredient must now sign for the over-the-counter drugs and are limited in the number of packages they can purchase. Jones said the U.S. restrictions have given the Mexican drug cartels motivation to make major moves into the meth trade. “They are able to have pseudoephedrine shipped into Mexico from China and are producing meth in large quantities,” he said. The police chief said officers are now trying to “work up the chain” to arrest people higher in the local drug distribution network. He added they are working with narcotics investigators from other agencies as the investigation expands beyond Trinity. “Right now we’re keeping an eye on different locations throughout the city to gather more information about drug activities. Once such location is an area near the intersection of Walker and Israel Otis streets known as the “Three-Way” while other are located along and at the end of Ida Mae street. “We’re also suspect drug activity might be developing on Davis Street, Parker Street and in an area just outside the city known as “The Dirt” near West Pine Valley and Hamilton,” he said. Jones said people may wonder why he is identifying the suspected drug areas, but explained that police want the gang of drug distributors to know they are watching them and that they will be arrested.