SCU investigation leads to arrest of six people Wednesday

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

Feb. 14, 2008 - Several months of investigation into reported narcotics activity in a Fuller Street home resulted Wednesday in six people going to jail on charges ranging from disorderly conduct to possession of drug paraphernalia and controlled substances.

Sulphur Springs-Hopkins County Special Crimes Unit investigators are still following up on the reports of narcotics trafficking on Fuller Street.

"This is an ongoing investigation by SCU, and there may be additional arrest from lengthy investigation," said SCU Lt. Ron Plaxco

Officers began receiving reports of narcotic activity in the 600 block of Fuller Streets some time back. After several months of investigation, SCU officers took the information they had gathered to the district attorney's office. The DA found sufficient evidence to help the officers obtain a narcotics search warrant at 603 Fuller St.

Due to the reported narcotics activity and the possible presence of unknown subjects in the residence, the Special Response Team, composed of officers from Sulphur Springs Police Department and Hopkins County Sheriff's Office, was called in to assist. The tactical team made the initial entry at the Fuller Street residence around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. Overall, eight people were detained at the location, with two later released with no charges filed against them.

Officers found one 42-year-old man found in the yard when they arrived and place him under arrest for possession of drug paraphernalia when he was found to have a metal pipe, similar to those used to smoke narcotics, in his pocket.

Officers found another man with a crack pipe after entering the home. A search of the residence revealed usable amounts of crack cocaine, which resulted in the arrest of two Sulphur Springs men, ages 26 and 37, and a woman, also 26.

Another woman became belligerent toward officers and was taken into custody for disorderly conduct after using foul language.

Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jim Bayuk Thursday morning said the Special Crime Unit is a vital part of the local law enforcement team.

"The community is blessed to have such dedicated narcotics enforcement officers that can address such problems when they arise in this community," Bayuk said. "As far as I am concerned, this unit is vital in enforcement of narcotics violations. The city police and sheriff's office would not have enough or experienced officers for narcotics enforcement in the city or county without SCU."

"We are very strong about cleaning up and ridding the community of crime, including narcotics," said Hopkins County Sheriff Butch Adams, commending the officers on this effort.

The team of three officers -- Lt. Ron Plaxco and Sgt. Harold McClure from the city, and Sgt. Tony Crouse from Hopkins County Sheriff's Office -- recently added another county officer, Brad Strawn.

"This is a four-man team now," Bayuk said. "Brad if very valuable in that he has prior narcotics enforcement experience, which makes him an additional asset to the team already in place."

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