Drug bust caught on tape - police say cocaine making a comeback on Heartland streets

Drug bust caught on tape - police say cocaine making a comeback on Heartland streets
By: CJ Cassidy
CHARLESTON, Mo. - Just when police say they're winning the war on meth - an old problem resurfaces. Agents with the SEMO Drug Task Force say crack cocaine sales are higher than ever, so they're working around the clock to take dealers off the streets.
Monday night, police arrested a Charleston man on drug trafficking charges. People like 80-year-old Helen Jarrett look forward to a change, as they fondly look back on a time when their neighborhood wasn't known as a place to buy drugs.
Agents with the SEMO Drug Task Force (DTF), Sikeston and Charleston Police and MIssissippi County Sheriff's deputies forced their way into Jarrett's nephew's home across the street. Inside, police found crack cocaine, hand guns and some pills - not the kind you take for a headache either. "We found and a half ounces, a sizeable amount, and breaking it down into user amounts it comes to about four to five thousand dollars in street value," Sgt. Kevin Glaser with the SEMO DTF says.
Christopher Booker now faces trafficking charges. "Cape, Sikeston, and Charleston are the bigger areas crack cocaine is being distributed. Law enforcement is placing an emphasis on cocaine and going after dealers to try and curtail the violence we see with it," Glaser says.
Falling cocaine prices add to the problem. "In the '90s you could buy an ounce of cocaine for $ 1200 to $1500. Today you can buy it for about $900," Glaser explains.
Back at her home, Helen Jarrett is glad police busted her nephew. She hopes others in the area learn from his arrest. "I don't care how tough things get - there's always a better way than that. You're setting a bad example for your kids and grand kids," she says sadly.
In Cape Girardeau, police say they're always patrolling so called open air drug markets. They're also teaming up with investigators in Sikeston, Charleston and the SEMO DTF to crack down on coke sales.