TRIDENT will continue to enforce drug laws |

TRIDENT will continue to enforce drug laws

On the morning of Sept. 9, members of TRIDENT (Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team), AHRT (All Hazard Response Team), Eagle County Special Operations Unit, and members of local law enforcement agencies, served two search warrants in Rifle. In association with these search warrants, 15 arrest warrants will also be served.

These warrants are a culmination of a four-month TRIDENT investigation into methamphetamine distribution in the Rifle area. Over a four-month period, Task Force Officers performed 17 controlled purchases, resulting in a total of 117 grams of methamphetamine. This is added to the investigation ending on April 23, which ended in 36 indictments, and a Dec. 12, 2012, investigation in Carbondale that resulted in 21 arrests, as well as the tragic death of a Rifle man from what the coroner listed as methamphetamine intoxication.

These investigations highlight what is a tremendous problem in our communities. While there are differing opinions about investigative techniques and the value of drug enforcement, we choose to be aggressive because the illegal use of drugs has a significant and negative impact on our communities. This is not a benign problem. It goes well beyond the negative effects to the individual.

For example, of the 15 people arrested in this latest operation, they have a combined past record of over 70 non-drug related arrests and charges, ranging from DUI, burglary, assaults, weapons charges and sex assaults, which impacts us all. Ask local police officers, emergency room personnel, professionals who work with families, and educators, and they will tell you that the abuse of drugs affects individuals, kids, families, neighborhoods and whole communities. Local law enforcement will use every tool available to combat this threat to public safety. These tools range from education in our local schools, interaction with treatment providers, and working with the District Attorney and the courts to offer positive alternatives for low level offenders.

As law enforcement officers, we also enforce state and federal laws in relation to drug offenses, and we will use all of those tools to interrupt and disrupt the abuse of drugs in our communities. The TRIDENT task force members are professional and experienced law enforcement professionals, who take the safety in our communities very seriously, and we all feel that it would be a betrayal of the public trust if we did not pursue the people that victimize our communities each and every day. We make no apologies for trying to improve our neighborhoods through enforcement of these laws. We will continue our efforts to educate, intervene and enforce local, state and federal laws. We are proud of the professionalism of the TRIDENT team members, in partnership with local agencies and the DEA, in combating this problem, which effects us all.

— John Dyer is the Rifle chief of police and TRIDENT Board chairperson. TRIDENT members include the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and the police departments of Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, Silt, Vail and Rifle.

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