By Cpl. Ryan Tomlinson
Regimental Combat Team 5
AL ANBAR PROVINCE, Iraq – The flow of drugs in southwest Al Anbar province was diminished, July 8, 2008, after a bust of more than 500 pounds of narcotics.
Marines with C Company, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 5 and patrolmen with the Iraqi highway patrol apprehended three individuals smuggling a truck full of methamphetamines during a patrol outside Rutbah, Iraq.
"That drug bust was a major disruption of the drug trafficking in Western Al Anbar," said Capt. Christopher S. Norton, 33, intelligence officer for 2nd LAR and a native of Fairfield, Iowa. "Because of the key individuals brought into custody and the load they were carrying, it will disrupt the flow for quite some time."
The company has maintained its vigilance to prevent future instances of bootlegging, whether drug trafficking or oil smuggling, and has continued to support the Iraqi highway patrol's efforts against the bandits.
During the operations, the Marines of C Co. conduct patrols throughout the area on highways and main roadways to cut off traffickers attempting to smuggle narcotics into the region. Since the beginning of the company's tour, they have successfully detained more than 10 individuals and rid the area of more than 800 pounds of narcotics.
"It felt really great to aid the War on Terrorism and stop the funding for future operations in western Al Anbar," said Cpl. Cameron S. Nelson, 21, a light armored vehicle gunner from Portland, Ore., with C Co. "We're stopping the money coming in and keeping them from crossing the border to do whatever they want."
This operation was a success, but the job is not over for the company. Smugglers and drug dealers will still try to conduct illegal operations, but the Marines will continue their efforts to ensure the drug trafficking is challenged in the western Al Anbar province.
"We kept the money out of the wrong hands and the drugs from the wrong people," said Lance Cpl. Christopher J. Savage, 19, a scout from Ridgeway, Va., with C Co. "They possibly will attempt it again, but will fail with the us and the IHP there."