We’re learning details from Hannibal’s police chief about a guilty plea from a man accused of running a drug trafficking operation from Texas to Hannibal.
Hannibal Police Chief Lyndell Davis said it took several law enforcement agencies, including theirs, across several states to track down Justin Woodson and this operation.
Davis said this operation was one of the largest he has ever seen locally.
He said having this drug operation shut down is a good thing for everyone in northeast Missouri, but their work doesn’t stop with this bust.
“When you let that get out of hand, you’ll see your robberies, your homicides, your assaults go off the chart and the quality of life for good people is just gone,” said Chief Davis. “It hurts your school systems, it hurts your property values and it endangers people’s lives.”
Davis said busting this kind of operation takes a large amount of drugs off the streets and assists rehab facilities in their efforts to keep people clean.
On the corner of Hope and Locust streets in Hannibal sits the Harvest House. A former church is now a sanctuary for men trying to rid themselves of drug addiction but sometimes that’s not easy.
“So many people that suffer from addiction, they end up leaving treatment or leaving jail, the department of corrections, whatever the situation may be and going back into the same toxic environment,” said Harvest House Manager Philip McGlothlin.
Which is why McGlothlin said it’s so important police finally shut down the drug trafficking operation, part of which took place just down the street.
“It’s a good thing. It’s a win,” he said.
Jennifer Wilson with Turning Point Recover Center agrees. She said busts like this help the entire community.
“It helps a lot because people here probably are living next door or down the street and it’s really easy for people to come to their house and offer them substances even if they’re not wanting to use,” said Wilson.
Wilson said having the drugs off the street and an operation of this size stopped means less temptation for her clients when they return home.
“That’s where it originally starts and so if you can’t catch it up there, you have a hard time getting the people that are using the help you need,” said Wilson.
Both Wilson and McGlothlin said they understand this is just one bust and it doesn’t completely solve Hannibal’s drug problem which is why they say no matter what they’re still there to help someone beat their addiction.
“If there is someone out there and i know there is and they’re just caught up in this mess of addiction, there is hope in getting out and there is hope for long term recovery,” said McGlothlin.