ST. CLAIR COUNTY — The county's Drug Task Force (DTF ) stayed busy in 2016, arresting more than 220 people for illegal activities, but statistics from the past calendar year show that activity was concentrated in Port Huron and the surrounding communities in the eastern half of the county.
A map and listing of investigations provided by the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department show the DTF did not execute any search warrants in Lynn, Mussey or Berlin townships last year.
Methamphetamine continues to be a serious problem. Of those drugs seized or purchased by the DTF, meth topped the 2016 list at 554 grams. That represents a five percent increase from 2015.
"The Drug Task Force also conducted raids on 24 methamphetamine laboratories in 2016. The DTF confiscated, dismantled and cleaned up the lab sites while making arrests of those involved in the production and sales of methamphetamine," the report stated.
A marked increase in heroin was realized. Heroin seizures were up nearly 50 percent to stand at 308 grams. Conversely, a smaller amount of cocaine—398 grams—was seized, 21 percent less than 2015.
Prescription drugs also comprised a portion of the task force's work last year. They seized more than 300 doses.
"The vast majority of these pills were opiate-based prescriptions, such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and alprazolam," the report noted.
Prosecutors filed more than 300 felony charges and 174 misdemeanor charges against the 226 subjects arrested by the DTF last year.
A total of 16 weapons were confiscated along with more than half a million dollars worth of property, currency and drugs.
A link for a searchable map of DTF raids from 2016 can be accessed from the Sheriff Department's Facebook page.
Users can click on the map and locate narcotic investigations and arrests made throughout St. Clair County. The pins on the map are color coded to the main drug located at the scene. The addresses are listed in hundred blocks and not the exact address of the DTF raid.
Each pin includes date and location information for the incident, the drugs that were seized and the sex, age and hometown of the suspects.
"We are happy to be able to provide this service to our residents," said Sheriff Tim Donnellon.
"We continue to encourage everyone to keep their eyes open for suspicious activity and to report it when they see it."
Anyone with information regarding narcotic activity in St. Clair County is urged to contact the Drug Task Force at 1-800-243-DRUG (3784).
Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she and her family reside in the Capac area where she enjoys gardening and reading.