DTF nabs 2 major Spice dealers

Published 12:03 am Saturday, July 25, 2015

A two-month undercover investigation culminated this week when the 22nd Judicial Drug Task Force arrested six, including two men believe to be the county’s main Spice dealers.

DTF Commander Mark Odom said that both confidential informants and undercover police officers made purchases of narcotics in Andalusia and Opp during the course of the investigation.

Odom said that Courtney Pierre Hill, 29, of Andalusia was arrested and charged with distribution of a controlled substance.

He was booked into the Covington County Jail on a $450,000 bond.

Odom said that shortly after Hill was arrested U.S. Marshals, DTF agents and the Andalusia Police Department arrested Ellis Gray McClain Jr., 36, at his home in Andalusia.

“While executing the arrest warrant, McClain fled through the home and attempted to flush an amount of narcotics down the toilet,” Odom said.

A search warrant was obtained for McClain’s residence and agents located a large amount of synthetic marijuana – spice, marijuana, cocaine and a firearm.

“During our investigation, we learned that both Hill and McClain were two of the main Spice suppliers in and around Andalusia,” Odom said. “Spice is quickly becoming one of the biggest and worst drug epidemics we face in Covington County. So, we are glad to shut the dealers down.”

Eric Lee Rhudy, 24, of Andalusia was also charged with two counts of distribution of a controlled substance. He was booked into the county jail on a $300,000 bond.

Other drug arrests include:

• Desmond T. Young, 27 and J.C. Caldwell, 51, for distribution of a controlled substance. Young was charged with one count and was held on a $150,000 bond, while Caldwell was charged with two counts and held on a $300,000.

• Mitchell F. Weaver, 39, and Keegan R. Nath-Palmer, 21, of Andalusia were charged with intimidating a witness. Both were held on a $10,000 bond. The charges stem from the pair harassing a witness in a pending drug case.

“We want to praise the DTF for their diligence,” DTF Prosecutor Emmett Massey said. “This successful investigation sends a message that drug dealers should not get comfortable in Covington County.”