Drug Enforcement Unit
The Etowah County Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) was established in October 2005. The unit was formed to investigate all narcotic activity affecting Etowah County residents. In March of 2008, the DEU was designated as a FBI Safe Streets Tasks Force. On average, the Drug Enforcement Unit investigates 1200 cases per year.
The unit is under the command of Randal Johnson. Under his direction the DEU is ranked as the number one task force in the State of Alabama.
The mission of the Etowah County Drug Enforcement Unit is to prevent, deter, and investigate narcotic activity. The unit seeks to educate the residents of Etowah County about the dangers of drug use and addiction through various drug awareness and prevention programs within our community and area schools.
The DEU is a multi-functional task force partnered with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, and other first responders. The team works closely with the FBI, Alabama Bureau of Investigations, Alabama National Guard Counter Drug Program, and the North Alabama Joint Terrorism Task Force.
The DEU is comprised of 14 agents assigned from the Etowah County Sheriff's Office, Gadsden Police Department, Alabama National Guard and the FBI.
The unit's main responsibilities are to identify, investigate, and infiltrate narcotics dealers and their organizations within Etowah County and the surrounding area. The DEU coordinates and assists other organizations and local police departments in combating street level drug crimes. Recruitment of informants to help remove narcotic producers and violators from the streets is essential.
The team also works long-term protracted cases, those involving multiple persons or jurisdictions, those of a historical nature, and those involving oral, wire, and/or video intercepts and smuggling. The Drug Enforcement Unit is also responsible for all tactical response and is the command center for the Joint Special Operations Group (JSOG).
To provide information on narcotic related activity or for any other related requests please contact us at 256-549-5465 or confidential tip line at 256-546-3131.
The Etowah County Drug Enforcement Unit is located at 103 Commerce Parkway, Gadsden, Al.
Thank you for helping us "fight the war on drugs."
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has scheduled another National Prescription Drug Take Back Day which will take place on Saturday,October 26, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the East Gadsden Wal-Mart and the Etowah County Courthouse. This is a great opportunity for those who have accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of those medications.
Americans that participated in the DEA's third National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on October 29, 2011, turned in more than 377,086 pounds (188.5 tons) of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,327 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories. Please check back in March to locate collection sites near you.
The oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country is observed locally during the last week of October. Red Ribbon Week aims to spread an anti-drug message to school-aged children.
During Red Ribbon Week, young people are encouraged to pledge a drug-free life. The special emphasis on drug prevention also allows the community to unify in a stand against drugs and to show intolerance for illicit drug use as well as trafficking.
Red Ribbon Week began in 1985 to commemorate the death of Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Enrique Camarena who was killed while investigating drug traffickers in Mexico. Locally, Red Ribbon participants also honor Chris McCurley, Etowah County Drug Task Force Commander, who lost his life in the fight against illegal drugs in 1997.
Sheriff Todd Entrekin says, "Officer McCurley's death is a particularly painful example of how drug use and trafficking has impacted Etowah County. Unfortunately there are many more, and Red Ribbon Week gives us an opportunity to bring awareness to just how much drugs negatively impact individuals, especially young people, and the community as a whole."
The aviation unit and drug agents annually visit county and city schools during Red Ribbon Week in an effort to encourage students to stay drug-free.
A Message From The Sheriff
This site is maintained as a public service for the citizens of Etowah County. As Sheriff, it is my pleasure to serve you in this manner. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact us.