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America’s Narcotics Scene is as Jumping as Ever


America’s Narcotics Scene is as Jumping as Ever

A Valdosta, Georgia speed freak. A drag racing ex-Narc in Baton Rouge. SWAT raids in Wichita, Kansas and Sidney, Ohio. Large scale anti-crime initiatives in Cleveland, Chicago and rural upstate New York. Those are just a few of the narcotics stories collected over the course of just one day. You can bet that there are a whole lot more where those came from too.

Yes, America’s narcotics scene is at a hustling, bustling high. So are Americans. In fact, they’re doing more drugs than ever before. That means of course more arrests. It also means more overdoses and more deaths. And yes, it means more gunfights and car chases and broken homes and lost causes, as well as more headlines like these.

Let’s take a look in a day in America’s narcotics scene.

Valdosta Speed Freak

Shelly Lehman shouldn’t have swerved. Because that gave the Valdosta cop a reason to pull her over. She shouldn’t have put off her legal business in Brooks County either. Because that have him a reason to arrest her. An arrest of course means a search. And that subsequent search netted the cops two baggies of meth and two glass pipes. Lehman really shouldn’t have had all those felonies stashed on her person. But drugs do have a way of unseating a person’s power of reasoning; especially methamphetamine. So maybe it’s the narcotics’ fault.

Whatever the case, writes WALB TV’s Kim McCullough, “Lehman was arrested and taken to the Lowndes County Jail; charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug-related objects.”

“Our officers did a great job getting both a wanted person and illegal narcotics off of the streets,” said Valdosta Police Department‘s Lt. Scottie Johns.

Topeka, Kansas Pot Party — Don’t Forget the Coke!

We don’t know why Topeka Police had a search warrant for this house. We don’t know what made them raid it either. But we do know that “the department’s Narcotics Unit executed [that] search warrant [and] found cocaine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia. We also know they arrested James Sleep, Sr., 46, and his son, James Sleep, Jr., 22. The father was hit with “multiple drug possession charges.” And the son “was booked for possession with the intent to distribute within 1,000 ft of a school.”

Just how do we know? WIBW Producer Bryan Grabauskas wrote it up. That’s how.

That Drag Racing Ex-Narc in Baton Rouge

East Baton Rouge District Attorney District Attorney Hillar Moore isn’t happy with former Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD) narcotics officer Jason Acree. Not at all. In fact, the DA wants to revoke the ex-narc’s bond. Why? Because the one-time good guy was arrested for drag racing. Technically, Acree was “arrested on charges of reckless operation, speeding, drug possession and illegal possession of a weapon.” When authorities searched his car “they found unlabeled bottles of medication containing oxycodone and suboxone.” Since “Acree was unable to provide officials with a prescription, a charge of possession of schedule 11 drugs was added to” the counts.

It was Acree’s fourth arrest in as many months.

“His first arrest came in February of this year,” reports WBRZ. He was arrested “again in April, and once more just a few weeks ago.”

This latest arrest comes on the heels of Acree’s resigning from the BRPD. Acree had been “tied to corruption within the drug unit.” Acree had also been implicated by a whistleblower within the department.

The gun-toting, pill-popping, drag racing ex-narc “is currently being held in the Ascension Parish jail.” His bond is $45,000.

Don’t Mess with Nacogdoches County Texas Sheriff’s Office

You don’t mess with Texas. And you definitely don’t mess with the Nacogdoches County Texas Sheriff’s Office. Not if you wanna stay free anyway. And walking around with a pound of meth is definitely messing with the Sheriff’s Office. It’s not a good way to stay free either. Not a good way at all.

Okay, we don’t know whether or not Johnathan Dean Tillery, 34, of Bronson, was really walking around with a pound of meth. We do know though that a confederate of his named Jacob Miller was nabbed with nearly that much a week before his arrest. Yep, nabbed walking out of the post office after a Sheriff’s Office tip spurred a controlled delivery. Helping out the Sheriffs were the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the Nacogdoches Police Department.

So yeah, the Sheriff’s Office already had an ongoing and widespread investigation. And it went on to arrest Tillery and hold him with No Bond. The charges? Unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a controlled substance less than or equal to 400 grams, hinder apprehension or prosecution of a known felon, and possession of controlled substance between 4 and 400 grams.

A gal was nabbed then too. Her name is Deshay Lynn Melton. She’s been charged with hinder apprehension or prosecution of a known felon. And her bond has been set at $15,000.

We got the lowdown from KLTV and Danny Merrell at Kicks 105, both of whom apparently got it from Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office press releases. As for that ongoing investigation into a meth distribution ring, well, it seems to be still ongoing.

Wichita Falls SWAT

The Wichita Falls Police Department’s SWAT Unit executed what it calls a “”high risk” search warrant on May 26. The operation was reportedly tied to narcotics. However the sole arrest was of 43-year-old Tommy Latham, who was charged with theft over $2,500/under $30,000. Police also seized two motorcycles, a handgun, and a small amount of marijuana.

The operation comes hot on the heels of a much more substantial haul just two weeks ago. Then, the SWAT team nabbed Tramonta Hardeman and Paul Shaw as they drove away from a targeted premises. Hardeman, a documented gang member, told the officers he had a handgun under the seat. That’s a big no-no for a gangster. Shaw had a Federal Warrant.

During a subsequent search of the premises, “officers found marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, and THC wax. The marijuana weighed 5.1 lbs., the wax weighed 557 grams and the ecstasy weighed 10 grams. The officers said “the haul was more than a user amount and is consistent with a quantity someone would sell.”

Both Hardeman and Shaw were charged with two counts of Manufacturing/Delivery of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Marijuana. Hardeman also got hit with Unlawful Carrying a Weapon. Bond was respectively set at $55,000 and $57,000.

We got the goods from ace crime reporter Christopher Walker of the Wichita Falls Times Record News and the KAUZ Digital Media Team.

Operation Tragic Blow: Chicago

A multi-year, multi-agency probe called “Operation Tragic Blow” seized 14 kilograms of cocaine and two kilograms of heroin in Chicago’s Belmont Cragin and Buena Park neighborhoods. The hauls are respectively worth $392,000 and $110,000 at current street prices.

Federal officials also announced the arrest of 17 people, all of whom were charged either with distributing or attempting to distribute heroin and cocaine.

U.S. Attorney John Lausch, Jr. made the announcement. He was joined by Chicago Police Department Supt. David Brown. Lausch serves as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. Brown is Chicago’s top cop.

“The origins of the multi-agency investigation dates back to 2018,” writes WGN’s Julian Crews, “with much of the alleged activity centering around the city’s Belmont-Cragin neighborhood. The investigation was led by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations and CPD.”

In other words, it was a very serious investigation.

Tactical Response in Sidney, Ohio

Methamphetamine, fentanyl, counterfeit cash and drug paraphernalia. That’s what was netted by the Sidney-Piqua Tactical Response Team after executing a search warrant. That and a man named Stephen Hall. Hall, 41, was charged with drug possession, counterfeiting and possession of criminal tools. He was taken to the Shelby County Jail.

That’s what WHIO Staff are reporting anyway. So is Joshua Richardson of Miamisburg’s WKEF.

New York State Police Special Investigation Unit nabs a State Trooper

“We do not need violence in Greene County. We do not want violence in Greene County. [And] with drugs comes guns and violence.”

That’s what Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione said after his office and the New York State Police Special Investigation Unit teamed up for a large-scale narcotics operation in the rural Upstate New York county.

Four search warrants netted 500 grams of cocaine, two illegal handguns, three illegal AR-15 rifles, and $10,000 in cash,

Five people were also arrested — four from Greene County, and one from Albany County. They were:

  • Jarrod C. Reese, 31, of Athens, charged with first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon
  • Cassandra L. Garza, 30, of Athens, charged with first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance
  • Timothy Reese Jr., 33, of Earlton, charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon
  • Cheryl J. Medert, 55, of Earlton and the mother of both Reeses, charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance
  • Dwayne Brown, 38, of Watervliet, charged with first-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance
  • But the investigation didn’t stop there, reports Albany’s News10 ABC (WTEN). Two residents of Slingerlands, NY were arrested pursuant to the investigation. They were Jessica Spinner, 34, and Robert Coleman, 46.

    Coleman, a New York State Trooper for over 20 years, and Spinner were both charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th, a class A misdemeanor.

    The Greene County DA told News10 ABC that Coleman was “abusing narcotics.” They also said the Trooper was “in possession of heroin and possibly cocaine.”

    Cleveland Violent Crime Initiative Arrests 64

    The Cleveland Police Department is currently in the midst of a large-scale anti-violent crime initiative that shows no signs of ending anytime soon. Why? Because it’s been intensely effective. That’s why.

    So far CPD has “confiscated large quantities of narcotics, including marijuana, fentanyl, oxycodone, cocaine, and heroin.” The initiative has also netted 55 guns and made 64 arrests.

    We’re not quite sure what sparked the initiative, but we trust that it exists. Because Stephanie Czekalinski delivered the report for Cleveland’s 19 News (WOIO).

    One Man X Ring in Dover Delaware

    Delaware’s Dover Police Department found 1,535 grams of marijuana, 42.1 grams of MDMA, 97 doses of ecstasy, and a .38 caliber revolver after executing a search warrant on a home in the 900 block of West North Street. DPD subsequently arrested William Davis, 40, and hit him with a slew of charges, including possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, two counts of possession with the intent to deliver, three counts of possession of a controlled substance and possession of a firearm by a person prohibited.

    Mr. Davis’s one man X ring must be doing okay, because he was able to post a $107,200 unsecured bond with no problem whatsoever. It’s highly unlikely though he’ll be out of jail for long.

    Thanks Sarah Ash from 47ABC (WMDT) for the report.

    Narcotics in America

    So goes a single day in America’s narcotics scene. Actually, that’s just a single page of a single day of Google News Search items. Surely there was more where these came from. This list nevertheless indicates that drugs remain one of this country’s favorite pastimes. And until people stop abusing them we’re going to keep living these types of stories. That means we need more addiction treatment, of course. Lots and lots more.

    To be fair, there has been a recovery uptick. Not just more rehabs, but more people seeking rehabs too. There’s also been a trend toward more diversion programs, which puts drug abusers in treatment rather than in jail. Those kinds of programs should be universal.

    And you? Are you caught up in narcotics? Would you like to get out? Healing Properties would like to help. So would a lot of other organizations. All you’ve got to do is call. Wherever you are. Please. Pick up the phone. It just might save your life.

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