Teamwork nabs key drug dealers
by Karen Kissiah Staff Writer
Early on a Tuesday morning they quietly arrive. The home is surrounded, warrants for drug violations are served, and before breakfast five people considered to be key drug dealers in the community are behind bars.
Such was the story Oct. 2, for the team efforts of the Cheraw Police Department, the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Attorney General’s Office of Probation and Parole, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), said Narcotics Detective Brian Campbell of the Cheraw Police Department.
Campbell said there will be more arrests to follow, as the investigation of these cases is “on-going.”
Those arrested in town include Kevin Brown, 37; Daron Harrington, 33; Richard Porter, 67; Alvaro McBride, 29; and Michael Shields, 30.
There was no comment from law enforcement as to whether or not some of the tactics Capt. Keith Thomas learned at the FBI National Academy this summer were used in the recent drug round-up, but Cheraw Police Chief Jay Brooks did tell Cheraw Town Council Tuesday evening he was “glad to have him home.”
Thomas joins an impressive list of people from Cheraw who have completed this international program, as less than one percent of those who apply are admitted.
President John F. Kennedy “opened the program to international law enforcement to build or open relationships around the world,” said Thomas. “When you train, eat, sleep, and miss your family together, you form a bond.”
Of his closest friendships formed, one is from Australia; the other, Japan.
Cheraw Town Councilman Randy Butler asked Thomas what difference the department “will see” as a result of his training.
In addition to an emphasis on physical training and it’s importance to the job and the person, said Thomas, the Cheraw Police force will benefit from national and global contacts he has acquired as a member of the program.
“Those kind of contacts can sometimes prove invaluable,” said Thomas.
Cheraw Mayor Andy Ingram and the entire council thanked Thomas for his service. They also extended their gratitude to his entire family, for their personal sacrifices in his absence. Thomas has two children, ages 3 and 5.
Other officers from Cheraw who graduated the FBI National Academy include Jay Brooks, Robert Stewart, Campbo Streater and Stacey Drakeford.
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