Operation Strike Force targets drug corridors around Florence, D - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Operation Strike Force targets drug corridors around Florence, Darlington Counties

More than $1 million in narcotics, illegal goods and drug money are now in the hands of law enforcement instead of criminals. | Source: Amy Lipman More than $1 million in narcotics, illegal goods and drug money are now in the hands of law enforcement instead of criminals. | Source: Amy Lipman
"You name it, we can find it," Nunn said. "Untaxed alcohol, cigarettes, things that these individuals have no right to possess or transport between state lines." | Source: Amy Lipman "You name it, we can find it," Nunn said. "Untaxed alcohol, cigarettes, things that these individuals have no right to possess or transport between state lines." | Source: Amy Lipman
More seized contraband. | Source: Amy Lipman More seized contraband. | Source: Amy Lipman

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - More than $1 million in narcotics, illegal goods and drug money are now in the hands of law enforcement instead of criminals.

"Any of the material that we seize is narcotics that your kids, my kids can't take," said Major Michael Nunn, of the Florence County Sheriff's Office.

The 11th Operation Strike Force started at 7 a.m Monday and ended at midnight Thursday. It's a coordinated effort between the Florence County and Darlington County Sheriffs' Offices to bring in 150 officers from about 25 local, state and federal agencies to patrol I-95 and I-20 throughout the week because those are known drug corridors.

"There is no way you can run this degree of thoroughness without the assistance of other like-trained officers," Major Nunn said. "This is the best of the best that South Carolina has to offer for interdiction."

Operation Strike Force starts with traffic enforcement. Nunn said officers pulled vehicles over for moving traffic violations and issued 1,542 citations or warnings.

"Once they're stopped for the moving violation, these officers are specially trained to recognize indicators of criminal activity," he said.

Then, the officers either get permission from the driver or the signal of a drug-sniffing K-9 then they start searching whether it's a small car or a large moving truck.

223 vehicles were searched and about 70 people were arrested, 10 of which were for felonies, Nunn said.

$168,050 of marijuana, $130,125 of cocaine, $500,000 of heroin were seized during the four-day operation.

"You name it, we can find it," Nunn said. "Untaxed alcohol, cigarettes, things that these individuals have no right to possess or transport between state lines."

Nunn said any drug-related money that is seized is split between the agencies who participated in Operation Strike Force and used to buy equipment, drug sniffing K-9s and train officers for drug interdiction. $275,000 in currency was found this year, he said.

Nunn also said nobody has ever been injured in the Operation Strike Force processes.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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