After over a year of less than close ties with the Lincoln Interagency Narcotics Team, Newport is back to being “all in.” In a full-court-press maneuver, District Attorney Rob Bovett and Sheriff Dennis Dotson appeared before the city council Monday night to press their case that the very survival of LINT rests with Newport’s participation – defined by having an officer assigned to it to help conduct complicated criminal activity surrounding the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs.
Bovett told the council that nearly 80% of all Lincoln County burglaries are tied to drugs – addicts breaking into homes to steal items they can sell to buy more drugs.
The council called on Police Chief Mark Miranda to go over how the police department has been chronically understaffed due to budget constraints. But Sheriff Dennis Dotson told the council in so many words that his own patrol deputies are more thinly spread than the city’s police department and yet his department remains fully committed to LINT and it’s mission to knock down drug trafficking in Lincoln County.
Mayor Mark McConnell and Chief Miranda promised that when a recently hired officer graduates from basic police training, it will free up a patrol officer who can fulfill Newport’s responsibility to serve on LINT. Based on the training timeline, Newport’s new LINT member should be joined up before the first of the year.
LINT is made up of law enforcement from OSP, Lincoln City, Lincoln County and Newport. They generally go after drug traffickers who are major distributors and have strong connections to higher up drug kingpins.