Police bust crack operation

Published 12:04 am Thursday, March 22, 2012

A suspected crack cocaine dealer and two others in Florala were arrested shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The multi-agency operation ended months of investigation about the alleged drug activity at the Ninth Street home of Ronnie Bettis, said Drug Task Force agent David Harrell. However, before agents could make entry, the county’s Incident Response Team was called to clear the house of all the occupants – which included Bettis, Kenneth Gore and Mack Vickers.

“With the number of people inside, and since there was a propensity for something dangerous to happen, we decided to err on the side of caution, and called the IRT team,” Harrell said. “Thankfully, everyone was taken into custody without incident, and inside, we found crack cocaine, cash money and paraphernalia used to process, sell, conceal and maintain crack.”

DTF agents were assisted by the Florala Police Department, the Alabama Beverage Control Board and the Covington County Sheriff’s Office.

Florala Police Chief Sonny Bedsole said he was pleased to see the operation end successfully.

Bettis was charged with three counts of distribution of a controlled substance and one count each of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was booked into the county jail and held on an $800,000 bond.

Both Vickers and Gore are currently being held without bond – Gore, on failure to appear warrants for burglary and theft of property, and Vickers for violation of probation.

Additional charges and arrests may be forthcoming as the case remains under investigation.