Neighbors Speak Out About Drug Bust in Autaugaville


By Heather VacLav

It's being called one of the largest drug raids in Autauga County, and has been the talk of the in Autaugaville, where the Autauga County Narcotics Unit says it made most of the arrests.

The streets were empty in Autaugaville Thursday afternoon and evening, but at the crack of dawn, it was a different story.

“I was kind of disturbed about it, said Totanisha Cobb of Autaugaville. “I was like, ‘What is going on?”

More than one hundred police from 14 different agencies raided homes across Autauga County. Many homes were invaded on County Road 19 while kids were leaving for school.

“First thing in the morning, I just didn’t really know what was going on, especially with the kids and them being kind of scared and figuring out what was going on,” Cobb said.

And word travels fast, many people told CBS-8 they knew a friend or relative who was arrested or were actually at a house searched by police.

The police agencies involved said the raid went over as smooth as possible; no one resisted arrest and neither police nor suspects were hurt. However, many people in Autaugaville told CBS-8 News the drug bust was more than unexpected, it was uncalled for.

Once news hit the street police were out with warrants, some people turned themselves in. So far, the end results of the drug bust resulted in 38 individuals arrested with arrest warrants totaling 90 against the suspects arrested.

“The biggest shock was all the people that they got,” said Robin Gulati, owner of T-Mart on Highway 14 in Autaugaville. Gulati says he knew many of the people arrested because most hang out at his mini-mart and gas station.

Gulati said after the drug raid, there was a noticeable difference in the town. “Normally this parking lot has 30 cars parked,” he said. “[But today] no body wants to come out of their house.”

Chief Joe Sedinger with the Autauga County Sheriff’s Office says most people in the raided neighborhoods know about the drug problem, but many choose to keep quiet.

“I think a lot of people know what's going on, but they're fearful, they don't really want to get involved,” Sedinger said.

Many people would not speak out on camera, but told CBS-8 they feel police overreacted during the raids. Some demanded police show the evidence of the drugs collected in the busts, while others believe the round-up will help clean up the neighborhoods.

“If they can make this a regular thing her in Autaugaville maybe we can get the bad people outta here that's doing the drugs up here,” Cobb said.

The Autauga County Narcotics Unit said there are still active warrants for at least 25 people in Autauga County and it expects to bring those suspects into custody in the coming days.

“I think we put a dent in, but like I said, I believe it’s still ongoing and the drugs are going to be there,” Chief Sedinger said.

Police say most of the people arrested were caught after dealing drugs like marijuana, cocaine and crack cocaine to undercover cops. As for how much drugs police found during the bust, Chief Sedinger says he doesn't know, and won't be releasing that information for the next day or two.

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Tom Alciere said on Friday, Sep 28 at 5:18 AM

How is a drug raid different from Attila and the Huns attacking a peaceful city-state to take people prisoner and loot their houses? Attila wanted other people to give up gold. Some voters want other people to give up drugs. They're not entitled to what they want. Neither desire is any excuse for violence and intimidation against the other people. Reasoning with voters is as futile as reasoning with Attila. Ain't my job to change their opinions, their laws or their underwear. I don't blame inhabitants who fought back, wounding and killing as many Huns as they could, and I don't blame drug dealers who've fought back, wounding and killing as many cops as they could.

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