“Operation Full House” rounds up dozens on drug charges in Etowah County

Operation Full House

ETOWAH COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - An usually thick stack of warrants inspired the name, "Operation Full House," for Etowah County's latest drug roundup.

Agents with the county's Drug Enforcement Unit, along with Etowah County Deputies and police officers from Gadsden, Glencoe, Southside, Altoona, Rainbow City and Attalla, even U.S. Marshals and F.B.I. agents, fanned out across the county Monday, with four teams covering Gadsden and outlying parts of Etowah County.

They were armed with 350 warrants, some misdemeanor but mostly felony, and by 3 p.m. had arrested 172. Many of those suspects face extra charges as agents confiscated three guns--one of them stolen, a quarter pound of meth, 90 grams of ecstasy, two ounces of marijuana, and various drug paraphernalia, including scales.

“I think a statement has been made, I think we had a lot of help,” said Etowah County Sheriff Jonathan Horton.

"The intel that these guys have worked, to be able to put these roundups together, which is a logistical nightmare to begin with," said District Attorney Jody Willoughby. "I wouldn't even know where to start."

Horton says he was surprised at the amount of ecstasy that figured in the seizures and the warrants.

"What we found, standing out to me, is 90 grams of ecstasy, which may not have been exactly expected,you know, with the heroin, the methamphetamines. But the 90 grams of ecstasy stands out, you know. It's a clandestine made medication or drug," he said.

The team that WBRC followed spent much of its time in East Gadsden, based on their assigned routes and warrants. Three people were arrested at one stop, while a couple was arrested just as their daughters were preparing to head for school. Agents received a tip one man was at work in Attalla, and they arrested him there. Another woman met the team at a fast food restaurant’s parking lot to turn herself in. A man charged with trafficking swore repeatedly as he predicted he was “going away for life.”

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