SWAT Teams Make Major Drug Bust in Eau Claire, Altoona

By: Mark Povolny
By: Mark Povolny

Dozens of police officers arrested 15 people during a big drug raid in Eau Claire and Altoona Thursday morning .

Officers from 6 counties have been working on this raid for 3 months. Around 3:30 a.m. Thursday morning, 2 different S.W.A.T. teams moved on 8 different houses.

Police worked with undercover agents and informants to set up the drug bust and they make a bust of this size about once a year. This time they say they got more than just small-time dealers.

“There were definitely some people arrested in this investigation that were what I would consider our major drug dealers in town, our people responsible for bringing the most quantities of cocaine, crack cocaine into the area,” Sgt. Andy Falk with the Eau Claire Police Department says.

Police say the 15 people they arrested were delivering cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana, and heroin, which is a relatively new problem in the Chippewa valley. Eau Claire Sheriff Ron Cramer says police try to stay on top of everything.

“We have a huge number of informants that have worked with us in the past,” Eau Claire Sheriff Ron Cramer says. “When somebody comes in with crack cocaine, heroin, we get a heads up pretty quickly.”

A bust this size means paying plenty of overtime. Right now, Sheriff Cramer uses federal grant money to pay for it, but that may change. In 2002, he got $180,000 and last year it was down to $90,000. Next year, he expects to get just $41,000, so the money for these larger drug busts will have to come from somewhere else.


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