COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) announced a newly-formed Joint Enforcement Team (JET) on Tuesday.
The team will target various drug organizations and violent crime activities across South Carolina.
The Narcotics/Violent Crime JET Program began approximately a year ago to gather and share intelligence information on illegal drug trafficking and distribution in the state with several of SLED's law enforcement partners. To date, there are 10 law enforcement agencies participating in this JET program including: the Barnwell County Sheriff's Office, Cottageville Police Department, Fountain Inn Police Department, Greenville Police Department, Greer Police Department, Laurens Police Department, Mauldin Police Department, Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office, Simpsonville Police Department, and Walterboro Police Department.
In an informal ceremony at SLED Headquarters in Columbia on Tuesday, SLED Director Reggie Lloyd officially swore in 36 law enforcement officers into the JET Program. Those Law Enforcement Officers were hand-picked by their respective chiefs and sheriffs to be a part of this on-going initiative.
Aside from the swearing in, each officer has a JET badge and credentials which were paid for with federal grant funds.
The JET Program is modeled after the federal government's various task forces, which combines local and state and federal intelligence, resources, manpower and talents to combat violent crime.
"We are targeting the drug trade through longer term investigations," Lloyd said. "And, are utilizing resources on a state level to target problematic drug organizations that are wreaking havoc on this state. The drug trade is not a county or city problem. It's a state problem so we are forgetting about jurisdictional lines to accomplish this goal."
The JET Teams will share intelligence, resources, manpower, and investigative strategies to develop solid cases in an effort to find the most effective way to combat the drug problem in South Carolina.
The first JET Narcotics bust occurred in January with the seizure of approximately 2,000 pounds of marijuana, two pounds of cocaine and close to a million dollars in cash as a result of a joint investigation in the Greenville and Columbia areas.