The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

April 25, 2014

Palestine police arrest three in drug sting

PALESTINE —

Three Palestine residents were arrested around 10 p.m. Wednesday for possession of illegal substances following an investigation headed up by the Palestine Police Department SWAT Unit and the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU).

Police seized approximately 1 pound of methamphetamine and one-fourth pound of crack cocaine from a residence located in a mobile home park in the 1100 block of North Fort Street, along with marijuana and other narcotics, according to a news release.

“The arrest came after a month-long investigation by the DEU into the sale of illegal narcotics from this residence,” Lt. James Muniz, division commander, reported.

Additionally, law enforcement reported seizing approximately $1,800 in cash connected to the investigation.

Palestine Police Chief Robert Herbert said that this large of a seizure “is a direct result of how much dope we have within our community.”

After securing a search warrant, SWAT unit officers secured the scene at the North Fort Street residence and detained five people at the time of entry, including one who attempted to flee from the residence. Two of the subjects were later released without charges.

Those arrested included Willie Leon Barnes, 44, Donald Drew Nixon, 36, and Mattie McDonald, 46, all of Palestine.

The three were charged with manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance over 400 grams — an offense punishable by life imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, or a term of 15 to 99 years and a fine not to exceed $250,000.

McDonald was charged with a single count of possession of a controlled substance, less than 1 gram, and was released Thursday morning on a $7,500 bond.

Barnes and Nixon are being held in the Anderson County Jail on bonds totaling just over $1 million.

“I’m very proud of our tactical team, getting in and securing the scene,” Herbert said. “I’m proud that we got drugs off the street, and we will continue our efforts to rid drugs from our community.”

The Palestine Police Department was assisted in this operation by members of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice K-9 Units serving the Anderson County area.

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