Task Force wars: Sheriff responds

La Paz County Sheriff John Drum has given Parker Live a response to Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert, who issued a rebuttal to the media late last night over Drum’s assertions regarding the narcotics task force. The response is below.


I would like to respond to Chief Gilbert’s response to the letter I read to the Board of Supervisors on March 18th, 2013. None of the statements in this letter are misleading or inaccurate.

Let’s start with HIDTA and ACJC: I met with Chief Mendoza on March 21st and we discussed this very thing. When the La Paz County Sheriff’s Office ran the Task Force, the Task Force was receiving funding from HIDTA and ACJC. Since the CADRE took over the HIDA and ACJC funding was lost. This is fact not misleading or inaccurate. There may be a play in words here. HIDTA was suspended. This means there is no funds coming to La Paz County because of this, so when I said “lost” the funding; I meant it is not there anymore.

It is clearly obvious the productivity of the Task Force is way down since the CADRE took over. What I drafted in the letter were stats received from the CADRE and Task Force. Nothing misleading or inaccurate stated here.

When Chief Gilbert was a Lieutenant overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Task Force between 2001 and 2003, the Task Force was being run by the Sheriff’s Office. The Task Force was going broke during this time and he and the Sheriff’s Office Command were extremely frugal with the funds. After he left the Task Force, all Local, State, and Federal Agencies began to participate in a cooperative manner. This resulted in large narcotic and currency seizures. The Currency Seizures over a six year period ran into millions of dollars. This is a fact not misleading or inaccurate.

I am aware there is a CADRE or Task Force in this county. I was able to attend a Task Force meeting when I was a County Supervisor. Without going into detail, I knew then the CADRE was BROKEN!

Since 2010 when the CADRE took over, the funds in the Task Force have depleted dramatically. Chief Gilbert was in the Task Force when it was almost broke and now the same thing is on the horizon. I told my constituents if I was elected Sheriff I would make a Task Force that is accountable. This means more productivity, increased personnel and fiscal responsibility.

I want all of us to work together and I welcome the participation of all agencies interested. This matter will be resolved with all of us coming together as Department Heads.


Sheriff John Drum
La Paz County Sheriff

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