Drugs found at I-185 checkpoint

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  Columbus Police officers, Sheriff's Deputies from Muscogee and Harris County, members of the Metro Narcotics Task Force and Georgia state troopers lined Interstate 185 Friday and Saturday as part of an aggressive traffic operation.

A control point was set up in the southbound lanes between Smith Road and Williams Road. The signs warned drivers there was a drug checkpoint ahead but not every car was stopped and searched.

"Nothing is being done up here on this interstate that's not traffic related. Every car is not being stopped. We're just monitoring the traffic as it's going southbound on I-185. Whenever we see a specific violation being committed, improper lane changes, crossing the divided median, littering, driving with no seat belts or child seats, traffic related issues, we stop and we inquire and the investigation goes from there," explained Lieutenant Mark D. Starling who oversees the Columbus Police Department's Motor Squad.

It's no secret that the transport of drugs along the interstates poses major concerns for every law enforcement agency in the area.

In recent months, $1.5 million worth of ecstasy, some 79,000 pills, were found on a Greyhound bus bound for Columbus.

And two men were caught transporting two kilos of cocaine from Louisiana.

This weekend was no exception. During their traffic stops, officers found their fair share of illegal narcotics.

"We got some methamphetamine, crack cocaine, some illegal pills, several people driving with their license suspended, open containers in vehicles," revealed Captain Gil Slouchick, who oversees the Columbus Police Department's Special Operations Unit.

On Friday alone, 33 people were arrested and Saturday was no different. Our cameras caught drivers and passengers being searched and cuffed.

"The primary goal here is to save lives. We have people out here in the public disobeying the rules of the road and resulting in traffic accidents. We have a very high number of traffic accidents and injuries in our city and we're trying to address that by being aggressive with our traffic enforcement. We're trying to reduce the number of injuries and make it safe for everyone out here on the highways," Starling said.

"We took a little over 93 grams of meth and a little more than 22 grams of crack cocaine off the streets and anytime we can get that amount of drugs off the streets of Columbus, Georgia, it's a positive thing," Slouchick added.

In total over two days, officers arrested 62 people and made 109 charges ranging from Driving While License Suspended to Trafficking Methamphetamine. They took 161 grams of meth off the street worth $16,090 as well as 29 grams of cocaine worth $12,880, $214.75 grams of marijuana worth $2,147 and two guns.

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