Elite Police Unit Cracks Down On Drug Dealers Across Columbus
Suspected drug dealers sit in an apartment with no idea what's about to rain down on them.
It's an elite narcotics tactical unit called INTAC, which stands for “Investigative Tactical.” It is said to be the only police unit of its kind in the country.
The sole mission of the unit is to conduct drug raids that are fast, efficient and sometimes dangerous.
During a recent raid, gunshots could be heard. Officers later said a threatening pit bull was killed in the apartment.
“The rounds went where they were supposed to. The dog was eliminated and we continued on the mission,” said INTAC Leader.
Seven men and a woman were put up against the inside apartment wall by the INTAC unit. They were handcuffed with plastic ties and numbered by Post-It notes on their backs, while the assault team searches the apartment.
After the bust was made, the officers set up a field office, where they collected the evidence. An officer said he grabbed a bag of dope just as one of the dealers tried to flush it down a toilet.
Ultimately, the drugs collected go to a lab and are tested to make sure it is, as the officers believe, black tar heroin.
It takes more than a half hour to catalog all the contraband found in the raid.
“That's about $700 worth of heroin there,” said one INTAC member.
They also found 16 containers of assorted prescription pills.
“Trying to identify some of them right now, it'll have to be turned into the lab, but it’s basically a mobile pharmacy,” explained one officer.
Digital scales for weighing drugs and a trove of cell phones were also uncovered. The cell phone will be used to see who the suspects are calling.
Intelligence gleaned from the undercover drug buy also alerted officers to weapons in the apartment.
Officers found a bagful of bullets, plus a loaded AK-47 and a loaded .45 caliber handgun.
“Pistol was found on the table in the living room so it was readily at hand and the rifle was on the floor,” said another officer.
WBNS-10TV later learned the handgun was among 80 firearms stolen earlier this year from the Powder Room , a shooting range and gun shop in Powell.
No one is happier to see this terror ended than Ciara, a young mother with two small children living in the apartment right below the dope house.
“It sounded like they were kicking in my door. Then I heard the gunshots, so I laid on her and called the cops, 'cause I didn't know what else to do,” she said.
Ciara said the problems have been around eight months. She said the residents upstairs would do drugs in the hallway as kids walk in and out.
She also said they would wreck cars into the building and shoot holes in the wall.
“It’s awful,” she added.
Ciara said that she would sleep a lot better knowing the menace upstairs is leaving the neighborhood.
INTAC does three or four raids every week.
Even with all its success, narcotics officers said they're only getting maybe 25 percent of what's out on the street at any given time.
Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for more information.