From a dirty dozen and a half swept up in Southern Ohio to an off-grid compound in Eagle Point, Oregon, drug crime arrests are rising. And with the post-Covid spike in overdoses, it appears they'll continue to rise.
So what are we going to do? Well, we can clock it and then try to stop it. We can also try to get ahead of it. Find help before the rise in drug crime. That takes a new kind of law enforcement. Don't worry though. That new kind of law enforcement is a lot closer than you think.
Just keep reading.
Eagle Point, Oregon
Before now Eagle Point, Oregon was known mostly for the charming Butte Creek Mill and the efforts undertaken by actors Jim Belushi and Patrick Duffy to have the historic structure rebuilt. But it seems Joel Dixon is angling too have that renown for himself. We jest of course. Dixon definitely would rather skate under the radar. But after a five month long investigation authorities swooped into his "small compound" and walked out with a whole stash of lawlessness, including Dixon.
After reading KTVL's report, we're thinking perhaps this sleepy, picturesque town has a wild side. If it does, then it's a very wild side. Because John Law seized enough party favors to rile the entire town of 9000.
Check it out:
- Five pounds of methamphetamine
- 200 grams of cocaine
- 1/4 pound of heroin
- Over $7,000 in cash
- One firearm
- Stolen motorcycle out of Los Angeles
- Large scale illegal marijuana grow
Then again, Dixon could've simply been seeking a quiet place to commit his drug crimes and the Eagle Point folk didn;t know anything about his compound. Whatever the reason, the Medford Police Department has a pretty weighty feather in its cap. So does the Medford Area Drug and Gang Task Force (MADGE) who conducted the raid, and the Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET) who'll be dismantling the grow.
And Dixon? Well, Dixon has Unlawful Possession, Manufacture and Distribution of Methamphetamine, Heroin and Cocaine to add to the 2020 MADGE case he was already facing. Naturally his pre-trial release was swiftly revoked as well.
Talk about a compound... When authorities swooped in on this home in Shapleigh, Maine, they found 28 people living on the property. Some of those folks were living "in the house, while others were sleeping in cars, campers, tents and mobile homes."
That's what the good team at WGME is reporting anyway, and we believe the Portland-based CBS affiliate, as well as their sources. We're especially inclined to believe after reading that seven of those 28 people are no longer residents of the property.
Or at least won't be around for awhile. Homeowner Ryan Murray was arrested and charged with Unlawful Trafficking Schedule Drugs. So was Elysie Nichols, also of Shapleigh, who was charged with aggravated trafficking schedule drugs. David Demirai of Berwick was also arrested on a warrant for failure to appear for failing to stop for a police officer. Gregory Cote, of Sanford, was arrested on a warrant for probation revocation and theft. Dawn Tessier, of Sanford, was arrested on an extraditable warrant from New Hampshire for possession of meth. Brandon Scamman, of Baldwin, was arrested on a warrant for failure to appear for violation of a protective order. And Justin Royal, of Sanford, was arrested on warrants for Failure to Appear for operating a motor vehicle without a license, violation of conditions of release, failure to make notification of a motor vehicle accident, unlawful possession schedule drugs and theft.
Authorities also seized 36 grams of fentanyl, 32 grams methamphetamine, one loaded firearm, and $2,459 in suspected drug proceeds.
The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency says it anticipates several more people to be charged with drug trafficking.
So much for drug crime in Southern Maine.
Hocking County Ohio
What the heck is going on in Hocking County Ohio? Authorities nab 18 people in a single drug sweep and it barely even makes the news? Are there really so many other things happening in the county of around 28,000? In a county that size it would seem most folks knew someone who knew someone who was arrested. Surely they'd want to read all about it.
And yet... barely a blip. And the blip we did get came from Jeremy Newman and The Scioto Post over in the next county. To be fair, Hocking County's own Logan Daily News did cover a similar mass arrest just last month. But surely the county can't be laden with that much drug crime.
Nevertheless, it's drug crime we sought and drug crime we got. As we said, the news came from The Scioto Post's Jeremy Newman. And it concerned a massive warrant sweep undertaken by the Hocking County Sheriff’s Interdiction Unit. In on the action was the Hocking County Sheriff’s Office itself, as well as the U.S. 23 Major Crimes Task Force and the United States Marshal Service’s Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team (SOFAST). Backing the major play was Hocking County Prosecuting Attorney Ryan Black, who received an extra nod from Hocking County Sheriff Lanny E. North, as did U.S. Marshal Peter Tobin and the members of SOFAST.
Paging Sheriff North
"For the second time this year, we have conducted a warrant roundup for narcotics cases in an effort to inform the dealers, users and our community that this type of activity will not be tolerated," said Sheriff North.
Then he added:
"Less than two months ago, I issued a press release with names, photos and charges of individuals who were dealing narcotics in Hocking County. I gave others who were in a similar line of work a warning, that if they didn’t stop, then they would be next."
“It would appear that some of them didn’t take the warning seriously and now their name, photo and charges are on our list."
Sheriff North was proud of his assembled team's effort, as well he should be. After all, the arrests undoubtedly stopped a lot of very bad behavior. But the Sheriff made clear that arrest and confinement wasn't his original intention -- it was simply the inevitable result for those who don't seek help.
“If you need help dealing with your addiction," added Sheriff North, "we have dedicated members of Project HOPE and the resources to get you that help. All you need to do is ask."
But “if you simply want to continue to sell drugs, I guess we will see if you make it on the next list that we put out.”
Warnings don't come any fairer than that.
We get it. You've got to get from Point A to Point B. That's a given. So why the detours, stop-offs and ride-arounds? Is that really smart?
Not when you're driving dirty. One quick look on Google News shows armloads of simple traffic stops that ended in drug arrests. So either there's a lot of bad luck out there or a whole lot of people aren't directly going from Point A to Point B. Perhaps when these people bond out of jail they can check into treatment. Then they wouldn't have to worry about committing any more drug crimes.
West Plains, Missouri
West Plains Police Department arrested Sheldon L. Stokes, James M. Brockett Jr and Paris Cross after an "officer observed indicators of criminal activity among those inside" the car. In other words, the three were getting high. Once the car was searched, cops found "40 grams of a substance likely methamphetamine as well as numerous items of drug paraphernalia."
Both Brockett and Cross had outstanding warrants when they were picked up; Stokes was driving with a revoked license. Oh, and the three were arrested on Freedom Drive near Independence. Really.
Thanks KY3 for delivering the story!
Elizabethtown, North Carolina
According to the good folks at BladenOnline, Elizabethtown Police Officer Blake Willoughby conducted a traffic stop on S. Poplar Street near Anderson’s Drug Store last Tuesday. Inside the car he found 184.5 grams of marijuana, two handguns, a set of digital scales, and $6,913.00 in cash.
Davaughn Hammonds was arrested. Hammonds was charged with Felony Possession of a Schedule VI Controlled Substance, Maintaining a Vehicle for the Purpose of Selling a Controlled Substance, and Carrying a Concealed Weapon. He was then held on a secured bond of $100,000.
Hammonds is a resident of Elizabethtown, so he must know everyone in town. Everyone probably knows him too. After all, there are less than 4000 residents. So what's he doing riding so dirty? Crazy.
A suspected drug dealer with active warrants in two separate counties was pulled over by Bryan Texas Police on Friday morning. After discovering the outstanding warrants and noticing a prescription pill bottle that didn't belong to the driver, cops brought in the dogs. Once the dogs alerted to narcotics, police searched the car.
What did they find? Well, they found 106.1 grams of meth, 11.4 grams of ecstasy, 3.3 grams of amphetamine, 0.7 grams of heroin, 20.8 grams of marijuana, hundreds of plastic baggies, empty capsules, glass pipes used for meth, a wooden marijuana pipe, a digital scale, two phones, and a plastic scoop used to distribute drugs into baggies.
In a car being driving by someone with two active warrants for her arrest.
She should have just driven to the Bryan Police Department station and surrendered; saved everyone some time.
The she in question? That's Janie Jones. A 27 year-old out of Singleton, Texas. Who won't be driving down South Texas Avenue again anytime soon. Big Thanks to KBTX for the story!
No Time for Drug Crime
So you see, drug crime continues to be a thing. A big thing. But it leads nowhere. Unless of course you think jail is somewhere. We don't. And we know you don't either. We most definitely know your family doesn't. In fact, they'd be crushed to see you behind bars.
So what are you going to do? Step up? Take charge? Move on from drugs? Sounds like a plan. A damn good plan. It's certainly doable too. So how 'bout it? You ready to reach out? Recovery Boot Camp can help you get sorted. So can SAMHSA, NIDA and the Partnership to End Addiction. We know. We cite them all the time. So do our colleagues at Healing Properties. Actually, they can also help. Just pick up the phone. Please. You won't regret it.