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Seadrift police raid meth labs, get help from area agencies

May 26, 2011 at 12:26 a.m.

SEADRIFT - Methamphetamines are a problem in Seadrift, but the Seadrift police are hot on the trail, Seadrift Police Chief Francisco Servantes said.

The house, nestled on a quiet street in Seadrift, is surrounded by the yellow tape that represents a crime scene. Servantes pointed to the butane gas tanks piled on the side of the yard, and the empty boxes of fertilizer - evidence, he said, that a meth lab was in operation here.

On Saturday, Servantes, with the assistance of other local law enforcement agencies, raided a house in the 100 block of East Virginia Street.

Neighbors had reported suspicious odors, so the police came to investigate. They found a house so saturated in the chemicals used to make meth they had to call in a hazmat team from San Marcos before they could go inside, Servantes said.

This was the fourth meth bust they have made in the past five weeks, Servantes said.

"This one was really bad because this was in a residential area, just full of kids," Servantes said.

The Seadrift Police Department is made up of two full-time officers. Servantes became chief two months ago replacing Robert Tumlinson, who retired earlier this year.

Since then, he has been working hard to let the makers and dealers of drugs like meth know that he means business.

Servantes is solving his manpower problem by partnering with different area agencies to be more effective in combating narcotics.

"When I became chief I went to them and asked for help, because I need all the help I can get to do this," Servantes said.

On Saturday, Seadrift police were assisted by the Department of Public Safety narcotics squad from Victoria, the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office narcotics team, Calhoun County Sheriff's deputies in addition to the hazmat team.

No arrests have been made, as the investigation continues, but Servantes is confident they will see results - and arrests - soon.

"We think they're coming to Seadrift because it's a small area, and we've only got two officers, but I want them to know it's not just us anymore," Servantes said.

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