A large number of illegal drug-related arrests were announced at the Hannibal Police Department during a morning press conference of August 26. Hannibal Police say an important element to the successful arrests of these individuals is a positive working relationship between the Hannibal Police Department and the Marion County Prosecuting Office and Ralls County Prosecuting Office.

Kurt Parsons

"For a department our size, an operation like this takes a lot of work," said Hannibal Police Chief Lyndell Davis. "Large scale arrests such as these would not be possible without the cooperation of the county prosecutors." Davis says that both Marion and Ralls County prosecuting offices worked hand-in-hand with Hannibal Police detectives to insure the investigation and issuance of warrants went smoothly.

Marion County Prosecutor David Clayton's office issued 24 of the warrants during the operation. "My office and officers of the Hannibal Police Department have had great communication over the last few months," said Clayton. "This is an operation that's been planned over several months and we've worked together and it has helped make this go very smoothly."

"I wanted to thank the department. They're out there working hard and we're certainly glad to help and do all we can to curb the distribution and use of these hard drugs which are really hurting our community."

During the press conference, Clayton reiterated that all of those arrested are innocent until proven guilty, and touched upon the wide range of charges faced by the accused. "We have an interesting cross-section of individuals here. Some are alleged first-time offenders and some are repeat offenders... we're going to do all we can to try to help treat the people who are amenable to treatment, and for those who are repeat offenders who treatment hasn't taken, or are simply unwilling or unable to (get treatment), then we're going to look to more serious punishment like Department of Corrections."

A total of 26 individuals were arrested in the operation on various drug-related charges. Drugs involved included heroin, methamphetamine, prescription drugs and marijuana.