Over 25 arrests were the end result of a “large-scale drug investigation” carried out over the past several months by drug detectives with the Hannibal Police Department.

Over 25 arrests were the end result of a “large-scale drug investigation” carried out over the past several months by drug detectives with the Hannibal Police Department.

“During the month of August a total of 26 warrants were issued related to illegal drug activity in the city limits of Hannibal,” said HPD Chief Lyndell Davis during a press conference at the Police Department Tuesday morning. “The majority of those arrested were for charges of distribution or delivery of a controlled substance.”

While Davis suggested some of the suspects may be familiar with one another, he did not believe an organized ring was at work.

“What it does illustrate is that there is a widespread problem and what we do is chase the crime and not the individual. We go wherever the information leads us and we develop our cases accordingly,” he said.

The 10 women and 16 men taken into custody represented an “interesting cross section of individuals,” said Marion County Prosecutor David N. Clayton.

“Some are alleged first-time offenders and some are repeat offenders,” he said. “It’s important for the community to understand we’re going to do all we can to try and treat the people who are amenable to treatment. Those who are repeat offenders whose treatment hasn’t taken or unwilling or unable to (undergo treatment), we’ll look to more serious punishment like the Department of Corrections.”


Drugs seized


According to Davis an assortment of drugs were seized during Operation Hydra, including heroin, methamphetamine, prescription drugs and marijuana.

“Obviously heroin continues to be a problem. That causes a lot of concern with us because it often leads to death through overdose,” said Davis. “We’re also seeing an increase in the type of methamphetamine - ‘ice’ - which you hear a lot about in the media. That is becoming a concern. A lot of it is actually coming from the country of Mexico. Even though there has been a lot of effort by the Missouri legislation and law enforcement in trying to stomp out meth, it’s found a new avenue to get into the country and it’s arriving in our city limits.”

In saluting the prosecutors of Ralls and Marion counties, Davis noted that 24 of the arrest warrants came from Clayton’s office.

“Large-scale arrests such as this would not be possible without the cooperation of our local prosecuting offices,” said the HPD police chief. “Mr. Clayton’s office has been wonderful to work with. It’s been very refreshing. We couldn’t get results like this without that type of cooperation. I think it says a lot about what everybody is trying to do to enhance our community and try to make it a better place.”

“I want to thank the department. They’re out there working hard and we’re certainly glad to help and do all we can to curb the distribution and use of these hard drugs that are really hurting out community,” said Clayton.

The Marion County prosecutor spoke about the communication and coordination that existed between his office and HPD during the operation.

“My office and the officers of the Hannibal Police Department have had great communication over the last few months, nearly talking almost every day,” he said. “This is an operation that has been planned over several months and that has helped make this go very smoothly.”

Clayton also pointed to the operation’s “transparency,” explaining that by making the results public HPD is “giving the community the information they deserve so that they understand where their hard-earned taxpayer dollars are going.”

Davis contends that by being vigilant against local drug trafficking carries an overall benefit for Hannibal.

“We firmly believe here at the Police Department that illegal drug distribution, especially the use of it, leads a lot to our violent crime. We really focus on destabilizing that endeavor so that we don’t see spikes in violent crime and we can add to the quality of life in our community,” he said.