|Two arrested for possession of marijuana; house was inside of three drug-free zones, enhancing offenses|
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
Aug. 30, 2006 -- An investigation into suspected marijuana dealings at a Main Street residence resulted in the residents going to jail after they were found in possession of 11 "dime bags" of marijuana as well as drug paraphernalia at their house, located within three drug-free zones.
Charles Ray "Chuck" Rollins, 29, and Amanda Rachell Rollins, 26, of Sulphur Springs were arrested for possession of more than 4 ounces but less than 5 pounds of marijuana, an offense generally considered a state jail felony.
However, the charge is enhanced to a third-degree felony, punishable by two to 10 years in prison, because it is located within 800 feet of Travis Elementary School, and within 1,000 feet of Buford City Park and a church's day care facility, which according to the law is also considered a drug-free zone.
Both spent the night in jail and were arraigned before Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Yvonne King, who set bond at $20,000 each. Both Chuck Rollins and his wife remained in the county jail at 11 a.m. Wednesday in lieu of bond.
"As you're looking at this [contraband recovered], it doesn't look like a whole lot as far as pounds, but they're definitely ... in three drug free zones," said Special Crimes Unit Sgt. Harold McClure, who along with SCU Sgt. Tony Crouse made both arrests around 4:45 p.m. Tuesday.
The arrests came as the result of an ongoing investigation by Sulphur Springs-Hopkins County SCU into suspected drug activity at 814 Main St.
"We got information there was a shotgun in the same room with contraband," McClure said. "We used the information to obtain a search warrant. We used the special response team, of which I am a member, to execute the warrant."
Police, sheriff's officers, SCU and SRT went to the location after 4 p.m. Tuesday. The sheriff, police chief and other officers were also on standby at the location. Two sheriff's investigators covered the front door and Crouse the back door, as McClure and the SRT went inside.
According to officers, they found Chuck Rollins holding a quantity of marijuana. They also recovered a "smiley face box" containing a "bong;" and 11 bags of marijuana like that sold on the street for $10 to $20 each; a larger bags of marijuana; two weighing scales; a metal container with 13 pills of prescription medication of the type used by people suffering from seizures; and a pair of scissors. A loaded shotgun was also located near the contraband.
As of late Tuesday, neither of the suspects had been charged in connection with the prescription medication, a controlled substance for which they did not have a prescription label.
Overall, the marijuana was determined to weigh 134.6 grams, or just over 4 ounces.
Crouse measured the distance from the yellow school warning lights in front of Travis at Goodman and Main streets to the Rollins' home, noting it to be between 800 and 900 feet, which is within the 1,000 feet requirement. He also used a computer to figure the distance "as the crow flies" from the Main Street home to the church day care and the park, finding them to be within 1,000 feet of 814 Main St.
"This investigation is not over. By no means is it over," Sgt. McClure said Wednesday morning. "It is ongoing. We're not sure where it’s going to lead us, but it's ongoing never the less."