COVINGTON, Va. – On New Year's Day, three people were arrested on Munford Avenue in Covington as part of an effort to crack down more on drug dealers instead of users.
A tip sent to the Covington Police Department helped locate three people from the Roanoke area that police believe were trafficking drugs.
"A K-9 alerted on the vehicle, and they were able to seize a sizable quantity of methamphetamine, along with the handgun," said Anthony Morgan, police chief for the city of Covington.
All three people in the car are now facing felony drug and weapon charges. Two of the suspects, Randy Niday and Michael Brown, had outstanding warrants from other areas. The arrest marks a milestone for the department. Its new goal in 2019 is to focus more on the trafficking instead of the using.
"Our philosophy going into 2019 is to do a better job of targeting the drug dealers that are coming into this area from out of the area," said Morgan.
Morgan calls Covington a destination city, meaning it's not usually the source of drugs but the place drugs find a home. The chief says during a community canvas, people were adamant that drugs are a big issue and officers are an important line of defense. So as the new year begins, the department has high hopes.
"Hopefully the more of these guys they arrest, the word gets out, 'Don't come sell drugs in Covington.' Then we can start to change the dynamics of our city," said Morgan.
The chief says this is the biggest drug bust the patrol unit has done in recent years.