It’s been a busy year for narcotics investigators with the Erath County Sheriff’s Office who are wrapping up the year after seizing a total of 95 grams of methamphetamine, issuing 24 felony warrants and making 19 felony drug-related arrests since Jan. 1. 

Lt. Ben Moore sat down with the E-T on Monday to talk about this year’s drug cases that showed a strong link between property crimes and illegal narcotics. 

“Every case we have in narcotics has stemmed from investigations involving a burglary or theft,” Moore said. “And what that tells us is that there is a direct correlation between theft of citizens’ property and the use of illegal narcotics.”

Investigators also returned more than $20,000 in recovered stolen property to its rightful owners this year. 

A BUSY NOVEMBER

The holiday season showed no signs of slowing down. In fact, drug arrests have amped up since November.

“Investigators have purchased more than 72.8 grams of methamphetamine in undercover narcotics operations since November 12,” Moore said. “And again, these cases are from recent burglaries and thefts throughout the county.”

Claud Taylor Jr., 39, was one of several people taken into custody at the end of this year. 

He was arrested in October and remains held at the Erath County Jail. 

Taylor has a long criminal history dating back to 2001 that includes arrests for driving without a license or insurance, public intoxication, engaging in organized criminal activity, possession of marijuana, burglary of a habitation, resisting arrest and various parole violations.

“If their names come up in investigations of thefts or property crime, then we follow that into narcotics investigations,” Moore said. “This is a never-ending problem and there are no signs of it slowing down.

“As long as there are drugs out there we will keep buying them and putting people in jail.”

Erath County Sheriff Matt Coates praised investigators involved in this year’s arrest. 

“Their hard word and dedication to get these narcotics off the streets is instrumental in driving down criminal activity,” Coates said. “I would like to see us hit it even harder next year so that it’s next to impossible to purchase narcotics in Erath County.”