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Picayune Police Department honored for efforts

Members of the Picayune Police Department’s Narcotics Investigation team recently received honors for their efforts at shutting down narcotics operations in the city.

On Sunday, Oct. 15, Capt. Holly Krantz and Det. Sgt. Charles Esque traveled to Phoenix, Ariz., to accept awards from the International Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association. Each year INEOA presents awards to officers for their contributions in the area of drug enforcement.

Some of the work for which the officers were recognized includes the seizure of $200,000 and approximately 20 vehicles and the arrest of 482 suspects, according to an article printed in the fall 2006 edition of “The Narc Officer.”

According to the article, one of the largest stings was the closing of Club O, a bar owned and operated by convicted drug dealer Omar Nelson that was in a residential area.

Krantz said that in spite of city regulations, the bar had remained in the area because it was grandfathered in.

“That’s why we’ve had trouble shutting it down,” Krantz said.

Also the team was responsible for the arrest of the Halloway family, a group of alleged high-level drug dealers, according to the police department. With the use of confidential informants and undercover officers, the team shut down the alleged crack cocaine operation. Krantz said that nearly every member of that family had been arrested for the sale of crack cocaine and most can not get out on bail.

The distribution of a new form of heroin from Chicago was found in Picayune through the investigation of the narcotics team.

“It’s a tribute to the narcotics team under the leadership of Dep. Chief Tom Milar and Capt. Holly Krantz and the team that works under them. They have dismantled or seriously disrupted drug traffic in our community,” said Chief Jim Luke. “Not to say we don’t have drugs, but they put a big dent in it.”

Luke also received recognition for his initiation of the three phase drug offensive, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, at Picayune schools. Luke also was recognized for his involvement in narcotics operations such as Operation Big Screen TV Giveaway, Operation Hot Rock, Operation Clean Sweep, Operation Get the Dealer and Operation Blue Line.

Award determinations are made based on recommendations received by the association from agency heads and supervisory personnel worldwide. Captain Krantz, Det. Sergeant Esque, and Det. Sgt. Jeremy Magri received Commendation Awards from the INOEA for their outstanding performance of duty in the area of drug law enforcement.