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.

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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.”