Smithfield Police join drug task force
Published 3:28 pm Friday, July 28, 2023
Smithfield has joined a multi-agency law enforcement task force targeting drug and gun crimes.
Police Chief Alonzo Howell told Town Council members at their July 24 committee meetings that his department is now a member of the Franklin-based Meherrin Drug Task Force.
Franklin’s and Emporia’s police departments are already members, as are Isle of Wight and Southampton counties’ sheriff’s offices. The Virginia State Police oversees the group.
Joining affords the Smithfield Police Department access to outside assistance when conducting drug investigations in town, Howell said, calling the group a “force multiplier.”
One of Smithfield’s officers is now a sworn member of the task force and can assist in multi-jurisdictional cases involving drugs or guns, Howell said.
The Meherrin Drug Task Force and Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office were each involved in the June arrest of 33-year-old Demetris Daniels of Carrsville on charges of intent to distribute narcotics and possessing a firearm while in possession of drugs. In 2018, the task force assisted the Sheriff’s Office in the arrest of 22 suspects, mostly from Isle of Wight County, following a six-month undercover operation dubbed “Operation House of Cards.”