Operation Urban Strike: Authorities arrest 30 in warrant roundup operation in Etowah County
By Ben Culpepper
ETOWAH COUNTY, Ala. -- Authorities in Etowah County conducted a warrant roundup Wednesday in an effort to reduce the number of outstanding felony and misdemeanor warrants.The operation, which is being called "Operation Urban Strike," began around 5 a.m., and since that time, 30 people have been arrested on 46 warrants in the county, Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin said. The sheriff's office was assisted in the effort by 45 members of 10 various law enforcement agencies including the FBI and US Marshals Service. Click here to read ABC 33/40 reporter Robert Richardson's in-depth story on Operation Urban Strike.Authorities started the day in search of 63 people who were wanted on 94 warrants, most of which were related to felony narcotic crimes, though, some misdemeanor warrants were also served. Of the felony drug warrants, around 60 percent were for the distribution and trafficking of various narcotics including meth, heroin, cocaine and marijuana.During the countywide operation, which targeted mainly municipalities, two meth labs were seized. Some of the individuals arrested were found to be in possession of small amounts of undisclosed drugs."The large majority of these individuals are repeat offenders," said Entrekin. "We are doing our best to keep these criminals in jail in an effort to make our communities safer."On Tuesday, deputies arrested 43-year-old Derek Lynn Pierce of Rainbow City on two counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and one count of drug trafficking. Pierce currently remains in the Etowah County Detention Center, where he is being held without bond."Agents seized about a half-pound of pure meth valued at approximately $20,000 from [Pierce's] residence, along with $16,619 in cash and 11 firearms," Entrekin announced this morning. "This man is a self-proclaimed "dooms dayer." It was extremely disturbing that this amount of narcotics and weapons were found in a busy, residential neighborhood."Along with the drugs and cash, authorities seized a stockpile of weapons including assault rifles, long rifles, shotguns and pistols. Agents also took possession of approximately 5,000 rounds of ammunition that was found at the property on Rainbow Drive. Entrekin said those who are aware of warrants against them should surrender to the sheriff's office or drug task force.Full list of law enforcement agencies involved in "Operation Urban Strike": Etowah County Drug Enforcement Unit, Etowah County Sheriff's Office, Joint Special Operations Group, United States Marshals Service Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force, Altoona Police Department, Attalla Police Department, Boaz Police Department, Gadsden Police Department, Glencoe Police Department and the Etowah County District Attorney's Office.
ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, Alabama offers news, sports, and weather reporting for the surrounding communities including Tuscaloosa, Anniston, Cullman, Gadsden, Talladega, Sylacauga, Carbon Hill, Jasper, Hoover, Bessemer, Vestavia Hills, Alabaster, Trussville and Homewood.