Drug Task Force Releases Annual Results

By: Sarah Batista
By: Sarah Batista

March 7, 2005

The Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement task force has released their 2004 drug stats and results.

When it comes to the report, JADE has a lot to be proud of. Their increasing number of drug arrests is reflecting their efforts to keep drugs off the streets. They say it has to do with a dedicated team and a caring community.

Since it began in 1994, the JADE task force has proven to be Charlottesville's best weapon against drugs. How?

"When you look at the activity on the streets today, compared to a few years ago, that activity has begun to diminish," said Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo.

"[It shows] in the number of arrests, the statistics, the compliments we get from the citizens and money seized, "said Sgt. John Baber with the Albemarle County Police.

Those numbers are combined annually into an end of the year report.
Last year, the task force made over 200 drug-related arrests, seizing over 2,500 grams of cocaine. That's their second highest amount in 10 years. Other drugs taken include three pounds of marijuana . All of the drugs total a street-value of more than $575,000.

But the task force hasn't tackled the streets single-handedly.

"We get a lot of intelligence from the community, we get phone calls on the JADE hotline, we check that on a daily basis," said Baber.

With Charlottesville being such a small community, some might wonder why so much cocaine here? It has do with money.

"You can purchase it at $200 a gram which is more than places like New York," said Baber.

Another important piece of information in this report is the investigation into five different drug gangs last year. That investigation resulted in 55 arrests. JADE says that bust was part of what made last year so great.

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