MART (March 31, 2013)--In the past year, the Mart Police Department has seen a significant increase in drug trafficking.
For the last month, police have been busy taking down drug dealers within their town and they credit the watchful eyes of the community for their success.
Mart has a population of less than 3,000 people and its police department only has four officers.
Last November, the Mart police seized $5,000 worth of marijuana, which is typically about 8 to 9 months' worth of seizures.
"The increase went up by around 40% from what we saw in both 2011 and 2010 combined," Police Chief David Monthey said.
Due to packaging consistency from recent marijuana seizures, Monthey feared that a supplier or multiple dealers had set up shop in Mart.
But, he never thought tips from residents would help confirm his suspicion.
"After the people in Mart found out about our growth in trafficking, we started getting a lot more citizen tips and complaints," Monthey said.
"Those tips would range anywhere from weird activity in neighborhoods, or citizens noticing suspicious behavior from neighbors or other citizens."
Those tips helped Mart police tally three significant drug raids during the month of March, a first for the department.
"We've had a total of four seizures in the last 3 years, and now we've had three in the last month," Monthey said.
Packaging materials, drug paraphernalia, and small quantities of marijuana were seized during the raids.
Officers also seized a little less than 10 grams of methamphetamine, a drug rarely seen in Mart.
Last year, the city only recorded 34 meth related arrests.
So far in 2013, there have been 26 meth related arrests.
"We've almost met the same number from last year and we're only four months into the year," Monthey said.
Three individuals were arrested during the three raids. Those individuals confessed to Mart Police that they were dealers and that their supplier was located in Waco.
Mart Police has notified Waco Police who will now investigate.