• 68°

15 charged for drugs in Opp

0713_mugs

Police have taken 15 alleged drug dealers off the city streets in Opp.

The Thursday arrests stemmed from a three-month operation by the 22nd Circuit Judicial Drug Task Force and the District 8 Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

At a press conference Friday, Opp Police Chief Mike McDonald said he hopes the “multi-layered, complex operation” sends a message to those dealing drugs inside the city.

“Know that we’re doing our job, and you know when we’re doing our job until a nice young man with a badge shows up at your door,” McDonald said. “Then, it will be your turn.”

DTF Commander Mark Odom said by using confidential informants and undercover police officers those arrested dealt marijuana, prescription pills, crack cocaine and powdered cocaine. He said 11 of the 14 arrested have previous drug arrests, some with convictions.

“These people are players of all levels, and I would definitely say that these arrests will put a significant dent in the drug trade in Opp,” Odom said. “But, know that there is always someone there to take their place.”

Odom said because of major highway connectors, Opp is a travel-through point for those transporting controlled substances.

“What we’ve heard is that the products that we are seeing in Opp is coming from Atlanta and Birmingham,” he said. “Any time you have major roads, you’re going to have a problem area.”

Odom said more arrests are forthcoming, and those taken into custody include:

• Jacob Blue for distribution of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana II, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Yaymon Reed for distribution of a controlled substance.

• Julia Donaldson for distribution of a controlled substance.

• Shon Coleman for two counts of distribution of a controlled substance

• Kevin Lawrence for distribution of a controlled substance

• Janet Blue for distribution of a controlled substance.

• Cassandra Lee for distribution of a controlled substance.

• Jamie Stoudemire for distribution of a controlled substance.

• Letteron Brannon for two counts of distribution of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

• John Womack for distribution of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Jarel Wade for possession of marijuana II and possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Kristopher Rine for possession of marijuana II and possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Kier Milton for distribution of a controlled substance.

• Danny Wambles for possession of marijuana II and possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Derreck Wambles for possession of marijuana II and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Assisting in the operation was the Opp Police Department, the Florala Police Department, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Covington County Sheriff’s Office and the Covington County District Attorney’s Office.

Odom called 2013 a “banner year” for drug arrests in Covington County.

“Within the past year we have arrested 242 individuals and have removed approximately 48 pounds of illegal narcotics form our community – including the largest synthetic drug seizure as well as the largest cultivated marijuana growth in DTF history,” he said. “We also seized five vehicles, one parcel of real property and thousands of dollars in U.S. currency related to narcotic activity, and we have no inclination to slowing down.”