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Meth busts lead to record-breaking arrests in Crowley County

Posted: 6:57 PM, Jun 26, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-27 21:25:33-04

ORDWAY – Crowley County is cracking down on hard drugs. The sheriff’s office put nearly a dozen people behind bars on Thursday – hoping to curb meth use in the area.

Deputies arrested 11 people.

On a typical day, deputies might arrest just one or two people, and they still have a long list of people with outstanding warrants.

It’s all part of an effort to put an end to the addiction problem ravaging the area.

Crowley County Undersheriff Terry Reeves has been investigating drug crimes for 35 years, and he’s lived in Ordway for most of his life.

“This was a very nice, quiet farming community,” he reminisced. “Hard-working people. We have a number of people now that live on the streets.”

For the past eight weeks, he’s used undercover officers to find drug dealers on the streets – before they find customers.

“It’s very disheartening to me to see the kids and the grandkids, the people I grew up with, battling this stuff here,” Reeves said.

“When we have people here that are simply selling this poison to line their pockets, to make money off of the misery of our children.”

Now, 11 people are behind bars. The bigger goal is to get these folks to lead them to the bigger supplier.

“They’ll turn around, come back later on where there’s not all these other people around and say, ‘I want to help you guys out,'” said Crowley County Sheriff John “Smokey” Kurtz.

Kurtz also said it’s the largest amount of arrests at one time he’s seen during his time as sheriff.

At least for now, these drugs won’t end up in the hands of users.

“I’d like to motivate some of these people to try to do something with their lives,” Reeves emphasized. “Besides stick a needle in their arm or a pipe in their face and live their lives from one fix to the next.”

Because as a sign in Reeves’ office says: “It’s not about you. It’s about them.”

“I look at that sign and remember why I’m here,” he said.

“That’s it’s not about me, it’s about the people of this community and what we’re trying to do.”

Some of those drug samples still have to go through lab testing. Reeves says funds from the 16th judicial district helped make this operation possible.