Jasper County Sheriff outlines drug enforcement plan - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Jasper County Sheriff outlines drug enforcement plan

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

Over a dozen people have been arrested since the New Year in Jasper County for drug possession and distribution. 

It's all part of the increased enforcement put into place by the new sheriff who has made it his goal to keep the drugs off the streets. 

We sat down with Sheriff Chris Malphrus to learn more about his efforts and successes thus far in his war on drugs. After he won the election, he told us drugs were his top priority. So far, about 20 warrants have been issued leading deputies to seize some large amounts of cash, drugs, and firearms.

"I refuse to allow under five percent of our population, which is the criminal element, to cause the other 95 percent of us to live in fear. As a sheriff, I can't allow that to happen," he said.

Sheriff Malphrus is fighting to keep the drugs off the streets as well as those responsible for its distribution behind bars.

"They sell in more excluded areas where the police aren't as prevalent or patrolling as much. That's one reason we've stepped up our patrols in our patrol division where there are more deputies patrolling, making traffic stops," the sheriff said.  

Extra patrols in certain areas called trap houses, where residents have complained about traffic in and out of homes. 

"They don't have running water, electricity, so they're actually pretty hazardous, so we're working with other county agencies to get those places condemned. The drug of choice in Jasper County has been crack cocaine, so we're seeing a lot of that, and powdered cocaine - and also the prescription medication which seems to be an epidemic across the country," Sheriff Malphrus said. 

The department is fully staffed, but Sheriff Malphrus wants to add another dozen officers. He says his next battle is with opioids and its rise in the county. They've already hired a drug expert to help them identify the common opioids and signs of their usage. 

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