Sixteen caught on drug charges

Published 8:59 pm Monday, May 17, 2010

A six-month investigation into drug dealing in Clanton’s housing authority has resulted in the arrests of 16 people. Police have warrants on six more individuals.

In all, the undercover investigation netted 22 people Friday on 53 different charges of distributing a controlled substance.

For the past few months, Clanton’s narcotics officers have targeted suspected drug dealers in or around housing authorities in West End and off Ollie Avenue.

“We’re trying to address complaints from the community,” said Clanton Police Chief Brian Stilwell. “We want to work to get their community back.”

Eighteen officers served nearly all the warrants in a four and a half hour period Friday.

Stilwell hopes the court system enforces a part of the Alabama Criminal Code that carries a harsher penalty for people convicted of selling drugs within three miles of a public housing project. That code carries a mandatory five-year sentence.

Dealers being arrested, making bond and going back out to sell again is a real problem, Stilwell said.

“We just keep recycling people back in the community, and the problem never gets solved,” said Stilwell.

Most arrested aren’t from the housing authority; some don’t even live in Clanton.

“A lot of them don’t even live in the community,” Stilwell said.

Powdered cocaine was the most common drug being sold, though a few prescription medications were dealt too, Stilwell said.

The following people have been charged with distributing:

Amira Caffee, 26, of Clanton.

Larry Dell Childers Jr., 29, of South Clanton.

Marsha Diane Harris, 45, of South Clanton.

Darrius Houston, 22, of Clanton.

Bobby Wayne Hubbard Jr., 28, of South Clanton.

Michael Joe Hubbard Jr., 25, of South Clanton.

George Hughley Jr., 54, of Clanton.

Romyn Jacques McCoy, 21, of Verbena.

Tenna Milford, 28, of Clanton.

William Spencer Price, 35, of Clanton.

Darius Sartain, 19, of Clanton.

Andrew Smitherman, 46, of Clanton.

Albert Spence, 45, of Clanton.

Daryl Dean Varner, 45, of Clanton.

Leroy Khabir Varner, 28, of Clanton.

Kyonta Ware, 18, of Clanton.

Police also have warrants out for the following individuals:

Johnny Bernard Harris, 38, of South Clanton.

Anthony O’Neal Looney, 31, of Jemison.

Nathan Mason, 23, of Verbena.

Wesley Ryan Morrow, 30, of Maplesville or Jemison.

Terry Dewayne Parker, 33, of Clanton.

Preston Eugene Swain, 25, of South Clanton.

More arrests and warrants are expected in coming days, said Stilwell, who thanked the Chilton County Jail Staff and Jemison Police for their help with the operation.

“It’s an ongoing, everyday battle,” he said.