Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Drug Raid Nets Seven

By Marty Roney
Montgomery Advertiser

WETUMPKA -- Several law enforcement agencies used ground teams and helicopters to hit four suspected drug houses in Elmore County early Saturday morning, and authorities are still looking to lockup a number of suspects.

Seven people were taken into custody on drug-related charges after search warrants were served in the Crenshaw community about 5 a.m., said Sheriff Bill Franklin.

"This caps off an undercover investigation that has lasted about six months," Franklin said. "Our targets were the main players in the drug trade in the west side of the county. The raids used more than 60 personnel and tactical teams from four departments."

The National Guard helicopters were used in case any suspects decided to run from the scene, Franklin said.

The sound of helicopter rotors served as a wake up call for 73-year-old Inez Jackson, who lives down the road from one of the houses searched.

"Lord, I didn't know what was going on, it sounded like one of those war movies on the TV," she said, while sitting on her front porch Monday afternoon. "Those helicopters just made a terrible racket. It was kind of scary. But as long as Sheriff Franklin is cleaning up the neighborhood, he can wake me up anytime."

The Elmore County Sheriff's Office was joined by units from the Montgomery and Chilton county sheriff's departments, the Millbrook Police Department, Central Alabama Drug Task Force and investigators from the Alabama Attorney General's Office. Authorities seized cash, firearms and a "significant" amount of crack cocaine, powder cocaine and marijuana, Franklin said.

"We are still cataloguing what we seized," he said. "We have arrested people all weekend and are still looking for people. They know who they are, and they need to know we're coming."

The following people have been arrested after the Elmore County Sheriff's Office raided four suspected drug houses Saturday morning.

Michael O'Neal Smith, 33, 11 Crenshaw Drive, Wetumpka. Arrested on an outstanding Elmore County Grand Jury indictment for distribution of a controlled substance. Bond set at $7,500.

Gregory Smoke, 40, 2112 Crenshaw Road, Wetumpka. Arrested on two counts of distribution of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bonds set at $53,000.

Betty Pearl Robertson, 39, 2112 Crenshaw Road, Wetumpka. Arrested for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bonds totaling $13,000.

Tommy Ball, 59, 221 Canal Lane, Wetumpka. Arrested on a distribution of a controlled substance charge. Bond set at $10,000.

Houston George, 32, 525 Zeigler Road, Wetumpka. Charges will be presented to upcoming grand jury.

Karen Marshal, 43, 525 Zeigler Road, Wetumpka. Arrested on possession of marijuana charges. Bond set at $5,000.

Bobby Lee Rufus, 525 Zeigler Road, Wetumpka. Held on no bond for failure to appear in court over warrants for numerous driving under the influence, public intoxication, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct charges. Also faces a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Source: Elmore County Sheriff's Office jail records and courthouse documents.

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