ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany Police arrested the suspected drug dealer early Thursday morning on Cone Street. Police say that East Albany street is a known haven for drugs and prostitution. People who live and work there are glad to see cops working to clean it up.
The man they arrested had thousands of dollars of illegal drugs and money in a baby bag. "I would not think of a baby bag as toting marijuana, and coke, and ecstasy, and all that. But a good disguise bag," said ADDU Chief Bill Berry.
Pat Willingham, the office manager for Fred's TV Service, has lived or worked near Cone Street most of her life. And hates to see it known for criminal activity today. "It's a shame, because when I first moved to Georgia, 50 something years ago, I lived on Cone Street. And it was a nice place."
But today it's in the news again for drug sales. About 3:00 AM Albany Police officers Anthony Thomas and Mason Bowen spotted a rental car parked in front of a vacant house on Cone Street, and stopped to check the man sitting inside.
"When they got back to the car, they smelled a strong odor of marijuana reeking from inside the car. The subject then took off and ran," said ADDU Chief Major Bill Berry.
Officers chased and arrested 31 year old Russell Haynes, charging him with eight counts including drug possession and escape. He had stashed inside a baby diaper bag ecstasy, marijuana, cocaine, crack, and more than five thousand dollars. Drug agents credit the two police officers for making sure these drugs and a suspected dealer won't be on Cone Street tonight.
"It's been a thorn in the east side for a long time. We've had some success cleaning up some of the problems over there, but you can obviously tell it hasn't completely gone away," Berry said.
Willingham says she sees the police patrolling Cone Street often, and happy about this morning's bust.
"I'm glad. It's cleaned up some, but it's still got a long way to go before it's back to a decent neighborhood," Willingham said.
Police and drug agents say they will be back on Cone Street, trying to do just that.
Officials say Russell Haynes has three previous drug convictions, and if he is convicted again he will not be eligible for parole, so he could be facing a long time behind bars.