By Raymond Billy

Officials unearthed roughly 97 grams of cocaine and one ounce of marijuana Wednesday in a raid that took place at 1018 Austin St.

A large amount of currency was also found during the joint search by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and the Jacksonville Police Department.

“Anytime you find drugs in such high volume, you assume it’s a trafficking situation,” said the sheriff’s office’s Chief Deputy Keith Radcliff.

The sheriff’s office wouldn’t reveal whether or not the suspect was present in the home when the investigation began, but three children were on the premises at the time of the raid.

“It breaks my heart to see children caught in the middle of a situation like this,” Sheriff James Campbell said.

For 24 hours, the narcotics division of the sheriff’s office had been investigating the matter. The raid, which lasted for about one hour, is part of an ongoing investigation, the specifics of which the sheriff’s office declined to provide comment for the time being.

Deputy Radcliff says that drug activity has been increasing in Cherokee County for unknown reasons.

In February, the sheriff’s office, Rusk Police Department the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice K-9 unit joined forces on a raid that yielded 4.4 grams of cocaine from a home on the 200 block of Beal street. In January, the sheriff’s office collected four grams of crack cocaine and 34 ounces of marijuana from a Jackson street home, to name a few recent incidents.

Radcliff said law enforcement officials have increased their efforts to contain that growth. He also said the public has been valuable in aiding the crackdown.

“We are finding that citizens have been willing to come forward to help combat the narcotics problem,” Radcliff said.

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