East Texas law enforcement receives recognition for Operation Pine Curtain

HARRISON COUNTY, TX (KETK) – At the Texas Department of Public Safety Thursday – Meeting of the Public Security Commission, Select Marshall Police Officers, Harrison County Sheriff’s Deputies, DPS Soldiers were awarded for Operation Pine Curtain.

At the end of 2017, violent crime related to drug trafficking began to increase in Marshall. The Marshall Police Department enlisted the help of the Texas DPS Criminal Investigation Division in Longview. Following the request, a three-year multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional joint investigation began and was later named Operation Pine Curtain.

Law enforcement efforts were launched by targeting local street-level drug traffickers with links to larger distributors. Texas DPS, Marshall PD, Harrison County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation provided assets in the investigation.

During the award ceremony, a spokesperson at the meeting said all agencies contributed by using their informants, information sources, assets and respectful staff in a collaborative manner.

Part of the implementation of the operation was the controlled contraband purchases, physical and electronic surveillance. To alleviate the workload, they shared the responsibilities necessary to generate productive results in the survey.

As a result, the DPS said higher-level suspects have been identified as carriers, money launderers and those who directed the activities of the distribution network.

Two sources of supply have been identified as coming from Mexico, including two cartels.

Throughout Operation Pine Curtain, 49 drug and weapon purchases and 42 search warrants were completed, resulting in the seizure of 44 firearms, $ 43,000, 17 lbs. of methamphetamine, a pound and a half of heroin, and two pounds of cocaine and marijuana.

46 defendants have been prosecuted and five more are expected. 27 of them pleaded guilty, 20 were convicted by the federal judicial system. Another 10 have been arrested and await a plea deal and four are fugitives in Mexico.

The FBI and the US Attorney’s Office are waiting for the four men in Mexico to be arrested and extradited.

DPS Special Agents, Lieutenant CID and State Soldiers received the Unit Citation Award.

An FBI Special Agent, HCSO Investigator, Sergeant Marshall PD, and Lieutenant Marshall PD received the Director’s Award.

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