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WEATHERFORD – The Parker County Sheriff’s Office recently announced it has joined forces with seven other counties to become a part of the North Texas Criminal Interdiction Unit.

The NTXCIU was created to help put an end to drug and human trafficking and includes officials from Parker, Tarrant, Wise, Collin, Grayson, Rockwall, Hunt and Smith counties. A deputy that has worked with the Parker County Special Crimes Unit was assigned to the mutual-aid task force.

“It’s working quite well,” Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said. “Deputies in North Texas are working in collaboration at random areas to focus on, and filter that region. Unit members share intelligence information with each agency as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration and Texas [Department of Public Safety].”

According to an article in the national publication Sheriff & Deputy magazine, the task force has intercepted $668,632 in U.S. currency, four automatic weapons, 20 stolen vehicles, 103 pounds of cocaine, 105 pounds of heroin and more than 1,000 pounds of other drugs since it was established in 2017. The NTXCIU has also arrested 114 people and recovered two abducted children.

“Setting up the unit took time — there are many moving parts — but the results were far more than worth it,” Collin County Sheriff Jim Skinner told the magazine. “We’re disrupting the drug and money supply chains, and the community’s response to the increased safety has been outstanding.”

The task force is the first of its kind in the U.S. and deputies involved are allowed to enforce the law across county lines as well as make their own decisions about coordinating joint efforts, according to the article.

The PCSO was selected by other sheriffs involved in the unit to expand the task force and help increase seizures.

“The statistics are overwhelming,” Fowler said. “We are pleased to be a part of this unit. It adds another dimension to the Parker County Special Crimes Unit.”

Weatherford Democrat reporter Autumn Owens contributed to

this report.

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