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Roundup nets 30 drug suspects

Since the later part of 2015, the Lafayette County Metro Narcotics Unit arrested 30 people for allegedly selling drugs in the county.

On June 23, agents from narcotics unit began serving the arrest warrants after the suspects were indicted by the June grand jury at the Lafayette County District Court.

Bonds ranged up to $15,000. Three suspects were not given a bond as they were currently out on a previous bond or were on probation from a previous drug conviction, according to the narcotics unit.

Most of the cases were made from late 2015 through June.

Narcotics Unit Commander Rod Waller said most of the arrests were made through the use of confidential informants. Last year, the department came under fire when online news source, BuzzFeed, condemned the department for its use of college students as informants.

Waller became commander in the fall of 2015 and he and the governing board, which consists of members of the Oxford Police Department, Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department and the University of Mississippi Police Department, made some revisions to the unit’s CI policy.

“All potential CIs are made aware that it is an option for them if they want to assist Metro,” Waller said “All are given the opportunity to speak with an attorney and/or an adviser such as a parent if they wish before assisting Metro and they can quit at any time after starting if they chose.”

The informants are generally people who have been arrested on drug charges. Often their cooperation allows them to get a lesser sentence.

These cases were initiated both unilaterally by the Metro Narcotics Unit and also with the cooperation of the sheriff’s department, OPD and UPD, and involved the distribution and possession of methamphetamine, morphine, cocaine, crack cocaine, Xanax, Suboxone, Lortab, THC wax, Vyvanse and Subutex.

Waller said prescription medicines and methamphetamine continue to be a growing problem in the county.

All arrest were made without injuries or incidents. Additional arrests are anticipated.