Community tips fueling drug busts - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Community tips fueling drug busts

(Source: CNT) (Source: CNT)

The Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team spearheaded a bust at an eastside Savannah home after tips from neighbors launched a nearly five month investigation.

Those tips are actually coming in at a rate higher than we've seen in years. These kinds of activities can hide in plain sight, and more often than not, they will continue unless the neighbors choose to get involved.

This latest bust is the perfect case and point.

"And I think it's a very good reminder for people who think, 'Oh that's not happening in my neighborhood,' or whatever. The truth is, it's happening everywhere,” said Sgt. Gene Harley, CNT.

In this latest bust, CNT officers seized five guns, $5,000 in drugs, and about $15,000 cash. They had been staking out the house for months, watching buyers come and go.

"Like 24/7. It didn't matter if it was 3 a.m. or 3 in the afternoon,” said Chad Hortman, neighbor.

Hortman lives next door. He had noticed suspicious activity there before and wasn't surprised by the bust, but he told WTOC that it's time to move out.

"Yeah, when you wake up from a little cat nap on a Friday afternoon and there is 30 G.I. Joe guys running through your neighbor's yard, it's definitely a wake-up call,” said Hortman.

CNT relies on neighbors like Hortman to help them track down drug activity in neighborhoods across the area. Now, 30 percent of their cases originate from or involve tips from the community. Part of that increase in tips shows up on the CNT Facebook page.

“Definitely over the past few years, we've seen a bit of an increase in the community's involvement, which is great to say, because again, we can't be everywhere all the time. We need their help, and the more help we get, the better,” said Sgt. Harley.

Sgt. Harley says there are a few red flags that could indicate possible drug activity in your neighborhood:

  • One indicator is a lot of people coming and going from a house, especially for short visits.
  • Also, activity at a house throughout the day and night, regardless of the hour, could point to drug activity.
  • If you notice there are always different cars at the house or if the house has a lot of visitors on foot...take note.

If you suspect something fishy could be going on in your neighborhood, you can call CrimeStoppers at 912.234.2020 or call CNT directly
at 912.652.3900.

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