By CHERIL VERNON
The Palestine Police Department has released the names of the six individuals arrested in two separate incidents over the last few days in an attempt to crack down on the drug problem in Palestine.
The arrests were the result of the newly-formed PPD Drug Enforcement Unit’s investigations.
Acting on information from the PPD Drug Unit, members of the police department conducted a search warrant at 501 Variah St. at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday.
“We recovered an undetermined amount of crack cocaine, ecstasy pills, marijuana and a small amount of cash. Some of the illegal narcotics were lying on a coffee table when police entered the residence. The street value of the drugs has not yet been determined,” PPD Sgt. James Muniz said.
Those arrested during the early morning raise were: Frederick Tatum, 22; Darion Turner, 22; Rashad Brookings, 29: and Fran Stephens, 36. The four were charged with the manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance penalty group 1. This is a felony of the first degree. A first degree felony carries a sentence of five to 99 years or life in prison.
Palestine police were assisted by the narcotics officers from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Institutional Division. TDCJ officers brought the drug dogs to the scene and helped in locating drugs that were hidden in the ceiling of the home.
On Tuesday, the PPD received a tip that a tan-colored Ford Taurus would be returning to Palestine carrying illegal drugs.
At 7:50 p.m. Tuesday, officer Marcos Lara located the vehicle and conducted a vehicle stop at Church and Lacy streets for a speeding violation. Lara talked with the occupants of the vehicle and while doing so could smell the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle, Muniz said.
A search of the vehicle produced over 2 pounds of marijuana and several bottles of PCP. Also located inside the car were over 300 packages of what is believed to be synthetic cannabinoid. These items will be forwarded to the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab for testing.
Police have identified the people that were arrested in the vehicle as Mercedes C. Jones, 27, and Darrion Lamar Anderson, 28.
The pair arrested will be charged with manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance PG-2, second degree felony which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
The PPD Drug Enforcement Unit consists of four members of the police department, led by PPD Sgt. James Muniz.
“Sgt. Muniz’s team came together to crack down on drugs in our community,” PPD Chief Robert Herbert said during a press conference Wednesday where some of the drugs seized were on display. “We are doing our research and doing it right. We want to take our city back and this is a small piece of it here.”