Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Six Points Initiative Targets Drug Trafficking

In July of this year the Richmond Police Department began an undercover drug operation in the area of Enslow Avenue and Front Street in the Highland Park neighborhood. As a result of that operation, arrests have been made but problems persisted in the area. Investigations revealed that street-level drug dealers were responsible for much of the criminal activity in the area.

The drug operation and the information it yielded converged to become the Richmond Six Points Initiative.

“This is a unique approach to eradicating drug trafficking,” Chief Bryan T. Norwood said. “We’ve taken what we’ve learned from our operation to get to the root of the issue – the individuals involved in these crimes.”

Chief Norwood will announce the results of the Six Points Initiative thus far in a press conference 2 p.m. today at 3100 Meadowbridge Road. He will be joined by Mayor Dwight C. Jones, Councilwoman Ellen F. Robertson – Gateway 6th District and Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael N. Herring.

As a result of Six Points investigations, since Jan. 1:
Twenty people identified as supplying drugs to street-level dealers in the Six Points area have been arrested.
More than 9,000 grams of cocaine was seized, which equates to more than nine kilograms of cocaine with a wholesale value of $270,000 and a retail value double or triple that amount.
Five hundred and five grams of heroin was seized, with a wholesale value of $50,000 and a retail value double or triple that amount.
Twelve firearms were taken from these dealers and $39,625 in cash was seized.

In July the street-level portion of this initiative began. From July 1 to Dec. 1, detectives made cases on an additional 50 individuals for drug violations. Twenty-one of these people have been arrested. Eight others are currently wanted and 14 are facing indictments in the near future.

In addition, a unique part of the Six Points initiative is providing the nonviolent offenders involved in street-level drug trafficking in the target area the first-ever offer of no prosecution and not asking the dealers to give up their suppliers or customers. Instead they would be presented opportunities such as education, job training, potential employment assistance and improved life skills. If they declined, they would be arrested and prosecuted.

Chief Norwood and Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Herring hand-delivered letters to these individuals last week inviting them to meet with law enforcement and community leaders to discuss their options. Most accepted the offer.

“Hopefully they will realize the benefits of these alternatives and that there are ways to make a living other than through criminal activity,” Chief Norwood said. “Because in reality, that isn’t living.”

Richmond Six Points will follow up with the persons who accept the offer and in the community to determine the success of this new approach to policing drug trafficking.

Contact: Gene Lepley
Richmond Police Department
Phone 804-646-0607
Fax 804-646-3496