Narcotics

Special Operations Division
Narcotics Section
350 W. Belknap, Fort Worth, Texas 76102
817-378-1500
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  • Tarrant County Crimestoppers: 469-TIPS

The Tarrant County Crimestoppers telephone numbers is answered on a 24-hour basis, 365 days per year. At such time as information is received, it is computerized and routed to the appropriate entity or Departmental Section for investigation and disposition. The Tarrant County Crimestoppers line may be utilized to report any and all types of criminal activity.

Information is accepted anonymously, or the caller may leave sufficient information to be contacted by an investigator. All information regarding reporting persons is held in strict confidence, and shall not be divulged to any party.

The Narcotics Section of the Fort Worth Police Department is one of three Sections that comprise the Special Operations Division. With a force of fifty plus officers, the Narcotics Section maintains the capability to conduct operations at all levels of the illegal narcotics trade.

Traditionally known for conducting covert operations, officers of the Section have expanded the area of operations to include drug education programs for children, education and health professionals, religious and citizen groups. Many hours were spent within the past year presenting drug talks to a variety of such groups, as well as instructing citizens who gave of their time to attend the Fort Worth Police Department Citizen Police Academy. Any citizen or group may request a presentation on narcotics by writing to the Commander of the Special Operations Division. The letter should note the group that the presentation is to be delivered to as well as the date, time, and location that the group is to meet. Every effort will be made to accommodate all requests. If the request is from a group or entity outside of the city of Fort Worth, the request shall be sent to the appropriate law enforcement agency with jurisdiction within the area of the request. The address for presentation requests is:

Fort Worth Police Department
350 W. Belknap
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
Attn: Special Operations Division Commander

While street level narcotic enforcement is the most well known type of activity that the officers of the Fort Worth Police Department Narcotic Section are engaged in, it should also be known that officers also engage in enforcement activities regarding drug diversion, forged prescriptions, illegal distribution of pharmaceutical medications, and obtaining controlled substances by fraud. Included within these areas is the enforcement of law regarding the illegal importation and/or distribution of controlled substances from border countries. Numerous operations have been undertaken at local open air markets targeting distributors of controlled medications from Mexico. If any citizen has information regarding any of the aforementioned activities, please call the Narcotics Section at 817-378-1500 or Tarrant County Crimestoppers at 469-TIPS (8477). Callers may remain anonymous. E-mail narcotics@fortworthpd.com

The officers of the Fort Worth Police Department Narcotics Section are selected for positions as narcotic agents from the ranks of commissioned Fort Worth Police officers. The selection process is standardized for the purpose of objectivity and fairness. Officers are selected by a board of supervisors and officers currently assigned to Narcotic enforcement duties. Backgrounds are thoroughly examined as well as previous work practices. The officers applying for open positions within the Section must complete a formal application packet as prescribed by the Police Department and appear before a formal review board comprised of officers and supervisors that are currently assigned to the Section. Only those officers that pass each portion of the application process are considered for vacant positions. Once selected, the chosen officers are required to attend an intensive in service training session covering topics pertinent to search and seizure, warrant composition, informant management, and additional areas related to the position for which they were chosen. Upon completion of the in service school, officers are assigned to one of five Section teams. Later in their tenure as narcotics officers, the officers assigned to the Section are eligible for placement within the Fort Worth Police Department Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force. These officers work at the federal level of narcotics enforcement with agents of DEA. Attrition within the Narcotics Section is lesser than that within the Police Department as a whole, generally due to the level of dedication and expertise that the officers assigned to the Section possess.

The Fort Worth Police Narcotics Section enjoys a well rounded working relationship with several local, county, state, and federal agencies involved in the enforcement of drug laws. As members of the Metro Narcotic Intelligence Coordination Unit (MNICU), officers of the Section work hand in hand with officers from surrounding agencies as well as the Tarrant County Sheriff's Department and the Tarrant County District Attorney's Office.

MNICU was formed with a grant from the Criminal Justice Division of the Governor's Office of the State of Texas. Under the control of the Texas Narcotics Control Program, MNICU enables smaller cities within Tarrant County to staff narcotic task force sections for the purpose of the enforcement of the Texas Health and Safety Code. TCNICU is divided into four distinct, geographical sectors. The MNICU Sectors and areas of responsibility are:

  • Southeast Sector: Arlington, Everman, Kennedale, Mansfield, Pantego, Dalworthington Gardens, and Grand Prairie

  • Fort Worth Sector: Fort Worth, River Oaks, Sansom Park, Westover Hills, Westworth Village, and Forest Hills

  • West Sector: Tarrant County, Blue Mound, Saginaw, Azle, Lake Worth, White Settlement, Pelican Bay, Lakeside, Benbrook, Crowley, and Burleson

  • Northeast Sector: Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Haltom City, Richland Hills, Colleyville, Grapevine, Keller, Southlake, North Richland Hills, and Watauga

While areas of responsibility often overlap, all sectors maintain a cooperative working relationship with a common goal in mind, the enforcement of drug laws.

At the state level, the Fort Worth Police Department Narcotics Section works with a variety of agencies. Officers of the Section have conducted operations with the Texas Department of Public Safety, The State Attorney General's Office, the State Comptroller's Office, The State Medical Examiner's Office, and the State Pharmaceutical Board. Officers of the Narcotics Section maintain working contact with each of these agencies and have the ability to access theses areas of expertise in those situations which will be most definitively impacted by their involvement.

At the federal level, officers of the Fort Worth Police Department Narcotics Section are working members of The Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force, The Federal Bureau of Investigation Drug Task Force, and the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Violent Crime Task Force. All officers so assigned are deputized federal officers and assist in a variety of federal investigations.

The enforcement of narcotics laws is ever changing and continuous. As the courts render decisions that have profound effect on the laws of search and seizure and drug kingpins and couriers become more sophisticated in their methodology, the task of narcotics enforcement becomes more challenging and difficult for each officer involved in the law enforcement profession. The ability to adapt and overcome all challenges and obstacles is tantamount in the fight to maintain a drug free environment for the citizenry of the country. The Fort Worth Police Department Narcotics Section has risen to this challenge and will continue to persevere in their efforts. The supervisors and officers of the Narcotics Section encourage the citizens of Fort Worth and all surrounding areas to join with them in accepting the challenges that lie ahead, as together we form an inimitable foe to those that attempt to poison our city and citizens with the scourge of drugs. We openly invite participation in our website, and hope that every purveyor will gain useful information from the data that it contains. Please feel free to comment on the contents of the site, or provide information that you feel would be of benefit or assistance to us.

DRUG IDENTIFICATION

Within the area of the DFW metroplex, certain narcotic substances are predominant in use. The most commonly confiscated substances within the city of Fort Worth are:

  • Cocaine (Powder and Rock or Crack)
  • Heroin (Black Tar)
  • Marijuana
  • Amphetamine/Methamphetamine

This is not intended to imply that other controlled substances have not been seized within Fort Worth; to the contrary, officers of the Narcotics Section have encountered and seized a variety of other substances such as LSD, pharmaceuticals (rohypnol, valium, demerol, etc...), anabolic steroids, and several other controlled substances or dangerous drugs. The largest seizures however encompass the listed substances. The following information will serve as a guide to aid in the identification of these substances, and will provide information related to physiological effects and hazards of the substances:

COCAINE: Cocaine hydrochloride is a derivative of the coca leaf. The drug in it's street form is produced predominantly in clandestine drug factories in a very rudimentary fashion. The narcotic is a depressant, with use resulting in lowered heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration. The most common health risk is heart failure.

Cocaine may be identified as a powdered substance, white in color. It is normally imported in what is commonly termed "brick" form, with a normal weight of one kilo or 2.2 pounds. Importation methods vary. At the street level, cocaine is normally packaged in small baggie type containers that are blue or clear in color.

A derivative of powder cocaine which in all actuality is simply a "cooked" version of the powder is crack cocaine. Crack cocaine has the appearance of a tan or yellow colored rock like substance, thus the nickname "rock" This form of cocaine is much more concentrated than the powder form and therefore is much more potent. The use of crack cocaine has been responsible for the deaths of several notable persons within the United States. Crack cocaine is normally ingested into the lungs by smoking, while powder cocaine may be snorted, smoked, or mixed with other narcotics and injected. In any form, cocaine is an addictive substance with a high potential for abuse.

HEROIN: In years past, the public at large has been exposed to heroin through a variety of mediums. Due to this exposure, the common idea of heroin is a white powder imported from Southeast Asia. While this does still exist on a limited basis, the more predominant form of heroin located within the metroplex area is "Black Tar". As the name implies, black tar heroin has the consistency of actual tar. The substance may be soft and pliable in texture, or may resemble a charcoal briquette. In spite of the look of it, this type of heroin is more potent than any in years past. Normally in the past, street level heroin would be found to be 8% to 10% pure. Recently, a large scale black tar seizure was found to be 45% in purity. The obvious increase in potency poses a serious risk of overdose.

Black Tar heroin in its initial form is a derivative of the poppy. Manufactured in crude drug laboratories in the South American area or in Mexico, black tar heroin is a very poorly produced substance. While the potency is quite high, the substance itself is very impure. A depressant, heroin normally produces a stuporous effect, or the heroin "nods" Addiction potential is perilously high. Death by overdose is frequent due to the heart and lungs literally shutting down due to the depressant effect. Cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest and numerous other afflictions are common medical hazards associated with heroin use.

Methods by which heroin may be ingested are much the same as cocaine. While intravenous injection is the most common method of use, heroin may also be smoked and is equally as addictive when used in this manner. In any form, due to the inability outside of a formal laboratory setting to determine the potency of the drug and the impurities present that are the result of the manufacturing process, heroin use is exceedingly hazardous.

MARIJUANA: Marijuana is a botanical which is easily grown and harvested in numerous settings. The leaves and buds of the plant are harvested, ground, and smoked. Known as a hallucinogen, the potency of marijuana lies in the tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, content of the plant. Normally, the bud of the plant will contain the highest concentration of THC in the plant.

The true health hazards of marijuana use are still under study however, there has been a direct link established between the use of marijuana and a progression to more potent habit forming narcotic use. It is fact that marijuana has been "laced", or dusted with other controlled substances which are ingested into the system of the user at the time that the marijuana is smoked. This can and has led to addiction to heroin, violent episodes from angel dust, and far ranging health problems. While prescribed for some medicinal purposes, marijuana possession is unlawful.

AMPHETAMINE/METHAMPHETAMINE: A stimulant, amphetamine and its more powerful "cousin", methamphetamine are manufactured in clandestine laboratory settings across the country. Better known as "speed" due to the physiological effects of the drug, amphetamine creates a marked increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate. The danger of the narcotic lies in heart or respiratory failure.

Amphetamine/methamphetamine is a crystalline substance that may be yellow, beige, or a tan color. It may or may not have a very distinct, acrid odor associated with it. The odor of the drug is dependent upon the chemicals used in the manufacture of the drug in the laboratory. Of particular interest is the fact that during the "cook" process, drain cleaner, ether, and a variety of acids are utilized and added to the substance. What the uninformed or novice user does not know may well be a fatal lack of knowledge of the danger of the substance.

Amphetamine/methamphetamine is highly addictive. Users may be identified by a hyper persona, needle marks, agitation and incoherence. Care must be exercised in dealing with those persons that are under the influence of this drug as they are very unpredictable.