Over the last year officers from the Long Beach Police Department have been involved in undercover narcotics investigations in the area of South Pacific County. The investigations began due to the significant increase in the trafficking of illegal drugs in the cities of Long Beach and Ilwaco. In response to this two officers requested, and were granted permission, to address the issue.
Sheriff Scott Johnson granted authority to the officers to operate in unincorporated areas of Pacific County. This allowed the officers to target those individuals who were selling narcotics in Long Beach and Ilwaco and who also operated outside city limits. Under the direct supervision of the Long Beach Chief of Police and with the full support of Mayor Jerry Phillips and the Long Beach City Council, who approved the added expenditures to the budget, the operation began to yield immediate results.
Officers, using multiple confidential informants, were able to purchase methamphetamine, heroin and other scheduled drugs from dealers on the Long Beach Peninsula. Hundreds of hours of investigation by Officers Mike Parker and Josh Lefor produced enough evidence to arrest nine suspects for selling and possessing prescription and non-prescription drugs in addition to other crimes observed by these officers during the course of the transactions.
Methamphetamine was also purchased from a residence in the City of Long Beach and in December 2018 a search warrant was authorized and served on that residence. During that search two of the nine suspects were arrested and evidence was seized which led to the recent arrest of an additional suspect for possession of methamphetamine.
Officers involved in this operation were able to do so with little or no impact to the staffing of the regular schedule in order to maintain round-the-clock patrol provided by the Long Beach Police Department.
While this is an ongoing program and we don't wish to comment specifically on continuous operations, we believe that the community deserves to know how the leadership and line staff of our local Police Department is addressing the problems we face.
To date, 10 suspects have been arrested as a direct result of these investigations. In partnership with the Pacific County Prosecutor's Office, many of these suspects have been convicted and are serving prison terms while others are still waiting disposition of their cases.
The Long Beach Police Department didn't advertise these cases at the time due to the sensitive nature of these investigations. Now that they are wrapped up it is time to let the community know of the hard work of Officers Parker and Lefor. Both officers stepped up with their concerns and took on the problem. They worked hard and I commend them for their hard work.
Much of the continued success is also due to the support of the citizens of this community. We appreciate all you do to help your police strive to make this a safer place for our families to work and play.
CHIEF FLINT R. WRIGHT
Long Beach Police Department