‘A major dent’

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 30, 2002

Messenger Publisher

Ten arrests on Thursday and Friday are likely to "put a major dent" in the illegal drug business in and around Pike County, say local law enforcement leaders.

On Thursday, the Troy Police Department and the 12th Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force arrested Allex D. May, 27, of Crenshaw County, and charged him with trafficking in cocaine.

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His bond was set at $100,000.

"It’s safe to say this was a significant arrest," said Sgt. Benny Scarbrough, public relations officers for the Troy Police Department.

Officers seized $12,000 in cash; drug paraphernalia; a pistol; and four ounces of crack and powder cocaine. The cocaine has a street value of $8,000 to $10,000, according to Sgt. Wayne Floyd of the Troy Police Department.

The arrest came after the task force executed a search warrant on a South Brundidge Street apartment at about 2 p.m. Thursday. Scarbrough would not specify which apartment, saying only that the police department’s Emergency Response Team first secured the residence for the task force. Three individuals were present at the time.

The cocaine was found in a vehicle outside the apartment. "Our dog (Rocky) alerted on the vehicle and a subsequent search produced the cocaine," Scarbrough said.

Because the investigation is ongoing, Scarbrough said he could not release details about the case, saying only that officers had "prior intelligence information and knowledge" that led to the search warrant.

Troy Police Chief Anthony Everage said the arrest is part of the ongoing effort to "focus on the major sources bringing illegal drugs into Troy and to remove both the drug dealers and the drugs from the streets of Troy."

"I’d say this puts a major dent in drug traffic," said Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas, whose deputies also assisted in the arrest. "It’ll play a major part in reducing the amount of drugs in and around Pike County … it’s just a very substantial arrest."

In addition to May’s arrest, the sheriff’s department arrested nine individuals between Wednesday and Friday on grand jury indictments involving drug charges.

Those include:

· William Keith Austin, 27, Route 2 Box 46, Banks, on charges of trafficking-methamphetamine.

· Paul Bludsworth, 34, Route 1, Box 231 Skipperville, on charges of trafficking-methamphetamine.

· Lawarn Carter, 21, 206 Trojan Way, Troy, on charges of possession of marijuana, first offense.

· Mary Linda Donaldson, 31, Route 2, Troy, on charges of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.

· Jason Hurley, 25, Greenville Avenue, Goshen, on charges of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.

· Tracy Polk, 42, 207 Montgomery St., Troy, on charges of unlawful possession of cocaine.

· Jason Sigers, 23, 1242 Skipperville Road, Ozark, on charges of trafficking-methamphetamine.

· Thomas Andy Wilkinson, 46, 1116 Park St., Troy, on charges of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

· And Ashley Nicole Morrison, 19, 1116 Park St., Troy, on charges of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.

All are felony charges, Thomas said, and more arrests will follow from the indictments.

"We’re constantly working to keep the drug situation at a minimum" Thomas said, referring to all law enforcement agencies in and around Pike County. "Drugs are a problem that every county in the state of Alabama deals with."

And, he added, "most of the other crimes are related to drug offenses. A lot of burglaries, thefts and forgeries are an indirect drug problem."

That is why agencies such as the 12th Judicial District Drug Task Force were formed and why local law enforcement agents work together to resolve these cases.

"You have to commend these drug investigators," Thomas said.

"They put in a lot of long hours, and a lot of time is spent away from their families."

The drug task force includes agents of the District Attorney’s Office; Troy Police Department; Pike County Sheriff’s Office; Coffee County Sheriff’s Office; Enterprise Police Department; and Elba Police Department.

The 12th Judicial District Task Force worked in the May case with agents from the 2nd Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force, which includes Crenshaw, Butler and Lowndes counties.

"We appreciate the assistance of these agencies involved in this investigation," Everage said.