New sheriff cracks down on drug dealings - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New sheriff cracks down on drug dealings

Lakeland - There's a new man at the helm of the Lanier County Sheriff's Office. "I took office January first," said Sheriff Nick Norton.

In his campaign for sheriff, Nick Norton promised the voters he'd crack down on drug dealers and users. That's exactly what he's done. "We're literally getting three hours of sleep a night, some of us, to get the meth and crack off the streets," said Norton.

In just his first month and a half in office, Sheriff Norton lead 11 drug busts that resulted in $80,000 worth of seized property. His goal is to rid Lanier County of all drug dealers. "I was elected to get the drugs off the streets and make this a safer place for people to raise their kids and we will unconditionally fulfill that obligation," said Norton.

Between January and May of 2004, the county made 13 drug arrests. Under Norton's leadership, the sheriff's office has more than doubled that number with 31 drug arrests. He says the increase in arrests doesn't necessarily mean more people in Lanier County are using drugs. "I just don't think there's been an awful lot done with it in the past," said Norton.

More drug arrests means more money for the county. "We have $10,000 in cash on hand, we have $80,000 plus in asset and property seizures," said Norton.

And that could mean more money for taxpayers. "I hope it can be used to lower the county mil and taxes here in the county," said Norton.

Making Lanier County a more affordable, and a safer place to call home.

feedback: news@walb.com