HOUSTON, TX-- Drug dealers, you might wanna get out of Texas soon. Area police, sheriff's departments, the DEA, FBI, and the U.S. marshals have all come together to take you down.
They teamed up Thursday to debut six new "Stop Drugs" websites where folks can easily and anonymously drop a dime on drug traffickers. "The more we know who we're dealing with," said Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor of Victoria County, "the better we will be able to serve and protect the people."
The "Stop Drugs" collaboration is the brainchild of Houston HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area), a group working to put an end to drug trafficking and money laundering along the Texas border from Brownsville to Louisiana.
"There needed to be a communication platform that addressed the way that people communicate in this day and age with smartphones," said Mike McDaniel, HIDTA director in Houston.
"We're looking to the new generation, the millennials," added Gary Blankenship, U.S. marshal for the southern district of Texas, "the texting generation."
By the way, these sites are not just a place to submit tips about drug crimes. They also offer people avenues to get help if they are under the influence of illegal drugs.
"Your kid may be exhibiting some type of behavior... under the influence of some substance," said Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland, "and the website is good for that."
This collaboration is a statewide effort, but stopping drugs here can help put an end to them nationwide, explained Blankenship, "Texas is a pipeline from Mexico and the drug cartels, so a lot of the drugs for the United States flow through Texas."
In case you forget the web address, Yellow Cab has plastered billboards with StopDrugsHouston.org on the back of 100 of their vehicles around town.
So, the sites are up and running. Now it's up to you. As Blankenship explained, "The police can function (alone), but they function much better with the support of the community."