Neighbors Helping Huntington Police Nab Drug Dealers

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Huntington Police are continuing to crack down on drugs in the city, and neighbors are helping.

Since July 24, 46 people have been arrested in "Operation: River to Jail".

So far, police have seized $78,000 cash and more than a dozen guns.

Police said people in the community have helped significantly with targeting dealers by providing tips and information by phone and when officers hit the streets on foot and bike patrol.

"Tired of the drugs," said David Brumfield.

Brumfield is one of many in West Huntington fuming at drug deals near his home.

"Sick and tired of it," he said. "My wife, she's afraid to sit on the porch."

Monday night, just up the street from his porch, Huntington Police busted five people at an apartment along Adams Avenue.

It's part of "Operation: River to Jail," an aggressive effort to push drugs and dealers out of the city.

Inside the apartment, investigators found three women from Huntington and two men from Detroit with a lot of heroin, crack cocaine, marijuana, cash and scales.

"Prostitution, all that stuff going along, stopping, getting the drugs up here and stuff," Brumfield said.

Last week, HPD took another accused dealer into cuffs right behind the WSAZ Huntington studios.

Both busts are credited to people speaking up about shady activity nearby.

"It was one of the most satisfying moments you could have realizing that you have made a difference in that neighborhood," interim Huntington Police Chief Jim Johnson said.

Though the progress with "Operation: River to Jail" has been good, neighbors said there's still work to do because problems are still rolling in.

"You see a lot of out of town cars around here, you know, a lot of them, like Detroit, Michigan, all that stuff," Brumfield said.

Johnson described a stark contrast in how neighbors perceived these busts.

He said when "Operation: River to Jail" started, people would hide in their homes. But he said Monday, people came outside clapping and cheering on officers as they took down yet another drug house.

He said they're aiming for property owners who don't screen their tenants next. He added, their actions have ruined some neighborhoods and they'll be after those properties soon.

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