HENDERSON COUNTY - The Henderson County Sheriff is cracking down on illegal drugs. Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said he’s made it his mission to take drugs and dealers off the street.
He tells CBS19 there are four or five drug busts every week. His mission is to bring that number down, and since taking office, citizens are taking notice.
"We pick up used syringes every day. Sometimes three or four,” said Linda Hix.
She lives in Chandler, in the same neighborhood a meth bust happened Tuesday.
Officials said it happened during a traffic stop. The driver was taken to jail for multiple arrest warrants, and the female passenger for possession of a pipe, used for meth.
Hix has lived in the area for 30 years and tells CBS19 this is nothing new.
She said she sees strange vehicles in her neighborhood often. One time, she counted nearly 45 cars passing to and from one home.
"If you have drugs in Henderson County, I don't care the amount. You're going to jail,” said Sheriff Hillhouse, who has zero tolerance for drugs.
He said meth is cheaper than what it used to be, so instead of meth labs, drugs are coming from across the border from Mexico. They travel to Dallas and filter back to East Texas.
The sheriff said he's made nearly 1,900 arrests since June of last year, and almost all of them are tied to drug use.
When taking office officially in January of 2017, he made it a mission to tackle the problem, to bring overall crime in the county down.
"They're in jail for burglary, but they're in jail for committing that burglary trying to support their drug habit,” he said. "It all revolves around addiction."
Hix said it's clear the sheriff is working hard to fight the problem.
"I'm actually out there stopping cars myself. I'm writing search warrants for drugs myself,” Sheriff Hillhouse said.
Something that Sheriff Hilllhouse is very proud of starting is an inmate program where recovering addicts come in and talk to those behind bars, hoping to give them some guidance for when they make it out of jail.
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