Pelham police round-up 17 crack dealers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Pelham police round-up 17 crack dealers

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

PELHAM,  GA (WALB) – A big round-up of suspected drug dealers in Pelham. Before sunrise police arrested ten men they say are major crack cocaine dealers.they're calling it Operation Makesafe, a Drug Elimination Initiative. For the past eight months investigators have been working long hours undercover purchasing drugs and pinpointing the major drug dealers in the area.

 

 
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An eight month long undercover drug investigation ended successfully Thursday morning as law enforcers from three south georgia counties, even the US Marshal's service and State parole office rounded up Pelham's major suspected drug dealers.

"We had 17 individuals we had warrants for," said investigator Rod Williams, with the Pelham Police department.

Police arrested ten of those suspects during early morning raids. Two more turned themselves in later, and police are still looking for Justin West, Lucius Williams, Desmond Crimley, Demarcus Daniels, and Reginald McCraw.

"The investigation began back in March 2009. It was the response to complaints received by the community in reference to drug traffic in different areas of the city," said Inv. Williams. "We were able to conduct search warrants and undercover investigations and target individuals selling crack cocaine in the Pelham area."

Six of the suspects face federal charges including conspiracy to distribute the others face state charges of selling cocaine.

"Pelham's drug problem isn't any worse than any other small town. But any problem is too big a problem since drugs lead to prostitution, robberies, burglaries," said Pelham Police Chief Nelie McCormick.

Financial cutbacks have left the Pelham police department short staffed, and without a local drug task force they have a lot to deal with. But they say this morning's operation was instrumental in their fight against drugs.

"These were the major players in Pelham," said the Chief.

Leaving this small town a little safer.

 

The Southwest Georgia drug task force was eliminated earlier this year. Local agencies say that put all the pressure on them to handle the huge drug problem in the area but they say they aren't letting the cutbacks slow them down.

 

 

 

The six men charged with federal charges are Desmond Crimley, Joshua Griffin, Dexter Griffin, Trentavius Arline, Denerick Brown, and Kenneth Cooper. These are the first federal cases made from the city of Pelham.

 

The men facing state charges are Demarcus Daniels, Xavier Green, Reginald McCraw, Charles McGee, Travis Smith, Martin Barnes, Justin West, John Willingham, Cullen Thomas, Lucius Williams, and Darius Wheeler.

 

Two more turned themselves in later and they're still looking for five more suspects.

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This morning they went out to serve their 17 warrants.