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Maj. Harold Knighten of the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department on Friday with Jame Key, a suspect in a drug investigation.
Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer
Maj. Harold Knighten of the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department on Friday with Jame Key, a suspect in a drug investigation.

Lawrence lawmen make 1st Operation Rx arrest
Prescription drugs main focus
of operation, officials say

By Kristen Bishop
kbishop@decaturdaily.com · 340-2443

MOULTON — Police made their first drug arrest Friday as part of Operation Rx, a new initiative to decrease drug-related crime in Lawrence County.

Agents with the Lawrence County Drug Task Force, the Moulton Police Department and the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department issued an arrest warrant for James Key, 67, of 1021 Main St. at about 7:30 p.m.

Hydrocodone

The district attorney’s office issued the warrant last week after Key allegedly sold hydrocodone pills and marijuana to an undercover narcotics agent. Police charged Key with trafficking marijuana and four counts of unlawful distribution.

It was not the first time police have escorted Key in handcuffs to the Lawrence County Jail.

He was arrested in October after a drug raid at his home turned up two large bottles of hydrocodone pills.

At that time, Key was charged with possession of a controlled substance.

“This investigation started approximately two months before the arrest in October,” said Moulton Police Chief Lyndon McWhorter. “We started the investigation after receiving complaints from citizens.”

First of many

Lawrence County Drug Task Force agent Amard Martin said this arrest is just the first of many arrests officers will making as part of Operation Rx.

“We’re targeting people selling narcotics with Operation Rx,” he said. “Prescription drugs are the operation’s main focus because that’s a huge problem these days, but we’ve started finding cocaine and other things, so we’re not limiting it to just prescription drugs.”

McWhorter said drug dealers in the county should hear the message loud and clear.

“If they’re going to deal dope in Lawrence County and Moulton, we’re going to make it really hard on them,” he said.

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