The Jefferson County Drug Task Force is a multi-jurisdictional, multiple agency Task Force. The localized Task Force is comprised of Jefferson County Law Enforcement agencies which include: the Fort Atkinson Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriffs Office, the Jefferson Police Department, the Village of Johnson Creek Police Department, the Lake Mills Police Department, the Town of Lake Mills Police Department, the Waterloo Police Department, and the Watertown Police Department; with the Jefferson County District Attorneys Office involved as a cooperating entity.
In 2005, the Jefferson County Drug Task Force was a founding member of the multi-jurisdictional group S.E.A.D.O.G. (Southeast Area Drug Operations Group). This group was organized to better utilize resources and to share information between member agencies resulting in enhanced overall operations of each participating agency. The mission of S.E.A.D.O.G. is to increase public safety and improve the quality of life in our communities through collaborative efforts that develop and implement programs to reduce the prevalence of substance abuse and decrease the incidence of violent crimes associated with drug activity.
Locally, the Jefferson County Drug Task Force is directed by a Steering Committee in which the police chiefs from each member agency have a voting representative and the district attorney is included as an advisory member. The committee meets bi-monthly to review the operations of the task force. A detective sergeant from the Jefferson County Sheriffs Office is assigned as the Project Director/Lead Officer for the day to day operations of the task force. The remainder of the unit is comprised of two full-time Sheriffs Office detectives, full-time detectives from the Fort Atkinson Police Department and the Watertown Police Department, a part-time officer from the Jefferson Police Department, and a limited-term employee funded by the other member agencies.
One of the biggest cases for the Task Force occurred in 2008. The Jefferson County Drug Task Force was involved in a multi-jurisdictional case with the Dodge Couty Drug Task Force, Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation-Narcotics Bureau, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The case included a large-scale drug trafficking organization in the Watertown area through which large amounts of cocaine were being distributed. This case consumed large amounts of time over more than six months. On June 19, 2008, the Task Force assisted in organizing the largest one-day operation in Jefferson County history. Over 100 officers from across Wisconsin assisted in the operation which included 10 search warrants and four consent searches in Jefferson, Dodge and Rock Counties. As a result of the search warrants, 17 individuals were arrested, over 2.5 kilograms of cocaine were seized along with various packaging and manufacturing equipment items, as well as firearms, vehicles, and cash totaling over $111,015.00 in U.S. currency.
Over the past two years, the Jefferson County Drug Task Force has investigated over 1,692 cases, with 697 cases being cleared by arrest or citation. The Task Force has filed over 477 charges with the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office in the past two years in which 252 cases were felonies and another 225 cases were misdemeanor charges. In addition, the Task Force issued 501 ordinance charges during the past two years. The Task Force also assisted in 36 cases that were initiated by other agencies outside of Jefferson County borders.
Most cases over the last several years have involved the sale of prescription medications, opiates and heroin. The number of heroin overdoses has increased dramatically. Educating students in regard to these dangerous drugs continues to be a focus of the Task Force.
The Drug Task Force is a participant in the State-funded Cannabis Eradication and Suppression Effort (CEASE). The Task Force members locate and eradicate growing marijuana in our jurisdictional boundaries in an effort to eliminate the presence of wild, uncultivated marijuana and its spread in rural areas. On average, approximately 60,000 plants in 80 different locations throughout the county are eradicated each year.
The Jefferson County Drug Task Force also utilizes Wisconsin State Statutes which allow law enforcement agencies to seize property and cash used in the commission of drug felonies. These seizures have totaled over $114,000.00 in assets taken during the past three years. Those funds are used to enhance the Task Force operations with purchases of equipment and educational tools.
The Jefferson County Drug Task Force will also conduct free drug educational presentations to local schools or civic groups. If you are interested in having a presentation made to your organization, please call (920) 568-2582 and ask how arrangements can be made.
Drug Task Force officers request that anyone with drug information please contact your local Police Department or the Jefferson County Drug Task Force at (920) 568-2582. Information can also be reported to the statewide WeTip program at 1-800-78.CRIME (800-782-7463), or Crime Stoppers locally at 920-563-7793 or 1-800-559-3200. Persons providing information may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward in cases that lead to an arrest.