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      Law enforcement nears the end of a major drug trafficking investigation

      The Southeast Iowa Inter-Agency Drug Task Force is nearing the end of a major drug trafficking investigation.

      The investigation began two years ago when a confidential source purchased small amounts of meth. From this humble beginning, the investigation expanded. So far more than 30 people have been arrested on drug charges. Most of them are Wapello County residents. But now, Ottumwa Police Lt. Jason Bell says complicated long term investigations may become a thing of the past.

      â??This year we're facing a 46-percent reduction in funding,â?? Lt. Bell said. â??Thatâ??s not just for our task force, but it's through task forces all over the state. These types of investigations may not be possible in the future. At some point law enforcement will have to make a decision on where we are going to go with task forces.â??

      Bell hopes that Southeast Iowans recognize the importance of task force investigations. He said that without the task force nearly three dozen drug dealers would still be roaming the streets. Next for task force officers, making more arrests before the investigation is closed.