Cash, drugs seized in separate incidents this week

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Sept 5, 2007 - Law enforcement officers seized more than $100,000 and made an arrest on drug and weapons charges in separate incidents this week, and federal agents are expected to be called in on one of the cases.

Staff Photo by Angela Pitts

SSPD Lt. Cleve Williams, with his canine partner, Atos, and the $101,000 seized this week.

Sulphur Springs Police Lt. Cleve Williams, assisted by Sgt. Jason Ricketson, made the cash seizure earlier this week.

Williams stopped a 1997 model Ford Taurus with Illinois license plates at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday for a traffic violation. The vehicle was a rental car from Memphis, Tenn., where the driver lives.

While speaking with the woman, the only occupant of the car, Williams noted her to exhibit signs of nervousness. When asked about her travels, “she gave an unbelievable story for the purpose,” the officer noted. Acting on suspicion, the officer asked and was given permission to search the car.

Sgt. Jason Ricketson, meanwhile, had arrived to assist Williams. The pair began searching the car. When they opened the trunk, they found a duffle bag. Inside they found a large quantity of U.S. currency. Williams then retrieved his canine partner, Atos, from his vehicle to conduct a sniff search. The dog alerted on the money, which amounted to more than $101,000.

At that point, the duffel and cash were seized and the woman detained. Hopkins County Sheriff’s Cpl. Eddie Moon was contacted to assist in transporting the woman to the police station as the interdiction officers’ vehicles are not properly equipped to transport individuals in custody.

The woman was questioned at the police station. The  money was seized for suspected involvement in criminal activity. The woman was released with no charges being filed.

The second incident came as the result on an ongoing investigation into suspected drug activity by Sulphur Springs-Hopkins County Special Crimes Unit Lt. Ron Plaxco, Sgt. Harold McClure and Sgt. Tony Crouse.

SCU obtained a search warrant Tuesday for one section of a duplex at 307 Carter Street. The Sulphur Springs-Hopkins County Special Response Team, composed of police and sheriff’s officers, executed the search warrant at about 10:25 p.m. last night at the Carter Street residence.

During the search, the officers located between 1 and 4 grams of crack cocaine, a Hi Point .380-cal. semi automatic pistol with rounds, a small quantity of marijuana, digital scales used for weighing items, a small quantity of U.S. currency, a case with a three-hole bong and a police radio scanner.

SCU Sgt. Harold McClure noted that while the money was taken, it was tagged as evidence but due to the fact that the investigation is still ongoing it was not seized. The Radio Shack scanner was program to pick up local law enforcement frequencies, including that of Sulphur Springs Police Department, thus officials believe the scanner was being used to track local police activity.

Although at least two adults were present at the time of the search, only one resident was taken in custody. Jeramie McGill, 26, was charged with possession of a controlled substance, third-degree felony offense, and felon in possession of a firearm, also a felony offense. Three children, ages two years up to 7 years, at the residence were left in the care of an unidentified black woman at the residence, SCU officers reported.

SCU officers noted that they contacted the district attorney’s office, and said they will soon be contacting the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to advise them of the situation as well.

The investigation into the case is ongoing. SCU officers said they anticipate additional arrests related to the case are likely in the future.

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