On Thursday, March 16, the Nebraska State Patrol broke a drug trafficking ring that ran throughout Holt County, busting nine people, with more arrests to come. The heart of the operation ONeill.
According to NTV residents said it was only a matter of time, not knowing exactly what may have been cooking in their neighbors home, but knowing it could not be good.
It was known, its been around for years, said 15-year resident, Daniel Lewis.
Another resident of the area said they thought the owner of the house, Thad Junge, was just selling pot on the side for survival, what was a surprise to the neighborhood, he was selling meth as well.
It was Thursday morning they realized it was meth being sold out of the residence because of a loud boom waking up the neighborhood.
The State Patrol investigation of the ordeal lasted six months and came to a breaking point, leading them to a home at 216 East John Street. After an inspections of the home, they found guns, methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
The home was filled with the S.W.A.T Team and nearly eight police cars sat out on the street.
Thirty-two year old, Thad Junge and eight others were arrested. They are all being held for delivery of a controlled substance, in addition, Junge faces felony weapons charges.
Many residents expressed how they had no idea it was going on and that it scares them knowing that is in their same neighborhood.
The US Department of Justice released this statement in their 2009 Midwest Drug Report:
The Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) region is a significant transit area for illicit drugs. Its central geographic location is widely used by traffickers who transport methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and other illicit drugs into the area from Southwest Border and Northern Border locations en route to midwestern and northeastern markets, including Chicago and New York. Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) dominate wholesale methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana distribution in the HIDTA region. African American, Hispanic, and Caucasian traffickers operate at the midlevel and retail level.
The widespread availability and abuse of methamphetamine and cocaine and associated violence, the local production of methamphetamine, increased Mexican heroin availability and abuse, and controlled prescription drug (CPD) abuse are the most significant drug concerns in the HIDTA region.