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Unusual signs in Franklin County initiative to defeat the county’s meth problem

Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 7:10 PM EST
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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG) - In Franklin County, the signs have been up for about two years, but Tuesday, they got a new look.

Sheriff AJ Smith says he is dedicated to taking care of Franklin County’s drug problem by continuing successful old strategies and coming up with new ones. According to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, the county has had a bad meth problem since before Smith became sheriff.

“Don’t do drugs. Be a productive part of your community. Don’t be a part of the community that makes it bad. Places like this are the bad part of our community. We want to see people being productive, being a positive part of their community,” Sheriff Smith said.

Sheriff Smith said one way they’re fighting the problem is by letting the public know the specific places where people are selling and using drugs. The idea came about when arrested users were telling deputies where they were buying the drugs. People at one specific property were arrested recently for using meth, but Sheriff Smith said they still haven’t learned their lesson.

“The folks that live here are tired of it. I’m tired of it. She’s already been arrested. Been in jail for selling drugs and will not quit. So, I’m going to let everybody know and this is one way to do it. We’re going to put a sign out here, it’s on county rightaway,” Sheriff Smith said.

He said investigators monitor the surveillance to see who is coming and going into a house. If someone destroys the sign, they will arrest them.

We tried to speak with each of the residents at these houses where signs were placed and, though we did see them through the window, no one came to the door. Even neighbors declined to comment. But one person was more than happy to comment. Franklin County Jail Inmate Charles Carpenter wants to warn others of how he says meth ruined his life.

“I used to be a pretty good guy, you know before I got on methamphetamines. Everybody in this community loved me, now they don’t love me no more,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter said the feeling of losing everything to drugs is horrible. He adds he hopes what he says affects the people who currently use or sell meth in this community.

“Stop. Stop. Now. Because if the police don’t get you, it’s going to kill you. It’s killed a lot of people I know and it’s not done,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter said after being in jail multiple times, he is ready to listen and make a difference in the community.

Sheriff Smith says his goal is to be a drug free community. He adds he’s focusing on rehabilitation instead of incarceration and asking addicts to come forward if they want help. If not, they’re going to jail. He said if you see something, say something.

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