New task force targets central Alabama gangs

Published 11:00 pm Friday, January 10, 2014

A new task force will target gangs in the central region of the state.

The Central Alabama Violent Gang Safe Streets Task Force will identify and target those responsible for any drug trafficking, money laundering, alien smuggling or violent crimes, according to a media advisory issued by the Department of Justice this week.

The DOJ formed the task force from members of the FBI, Auburn Police, Dothan Police, Houston County Sheriff’s Office, Montgomery Police and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. The group will cover the Pike County region and work with local agencies.

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Lt. Bryan Weed of the Troy Police Department said the task force has been around since 1992, but was recently expanded to central Alabama. The FBI enlisted law enforcement from major metropolitan areas for the group.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Sheriff Russell Thomas.

The sheriff’s office is in the same homeland security district as many of the agencies involved in the task force. Thomas said he has always been able to call on help when he needs it.

“I know Houston County Sheriff Andy Hughes. He’s a friend of mine and whether it’s been – a missing persons or other case – we’ve always worked well together.”