Deputies tackle Benton County’s growing drug problem
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BENTON COUNTY, Tenn. — An increase in a new kind of drug has Benton County buckling down. In the past month, deputies say they have made their presence known to local dealers and are cleaning up the streets. “We’ve only recovered the tip of the iceberg of what we’ve got here,” Chief Deputy Jason Lowery with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office said. “Ice,” meth and heroine are the drugs that are now out of the hands of suspected dealers in Benton County. “It’s good for the county,” resident Cliff Palmer said. “Anytime you can get something like that off the street, it’s great.” Deputies said when they arrested Amber Bray and David Bowman this week, each had the drug “ice” on them. “Drugs will never be eliminated,” Lowery said. “But we’ve been doing our best to try and put a dent in the drug problem.” Sheriff Kenny Christopher said his department has made recent strides in keeping both meth and “ice” off the streets but that they can only do so much. That is why they are hoping the public can help them out as well. “They see what’s going on, and that’s a tremendous help,” Lowery said. “To just have them let us know what is going on in their neighborhoods.” And residents said they know drugs are affecting the community. “Being a small town, there’s not a lot for the kids coming out of high school to do,” Palmer said. “So yes, it’s become a big problem.” A problem that deputies said in Bray’s case is like a revolving door. “She’s out on bond for the same thing, dealing dope,” Lowery said. “Then we found her again Tuesday.” Deputies said they’re making more arrests every day, taking even larger quantities off the streets. The sheriff’s office also has set up a new tip line for residents to use if they suspect a crime happening in their neighborhood. You can call or text tips anonymously to 731-441-3519.