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Task Force, other agencies arrest 14 in drug operation

The 17th Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force and the ABC Board made a total of 14 arrests during a joint drug operation Thursday, May 1.

In Marengo County, 11 people were arrested with a total of 12 charges of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, four charges of second-degree possession of marijuana, one charge of disorderly conduct, one charge of public intoxication and one charge of resisting arrest. The agencies seized 36.6 grams of crack cocaine, 12 grams of marijuana, one handgun and one vehicle.

The arrests made in Marengo County are as follows:

•Joseph Williams was arrested in Dixons Mills for one charge of second-degree possession of marijuana (two grams).

•The Task Force seized 13.5 grams of crack cocaine in bushes beside Kutz Barber Shop in Dixons Mills, but no arrest was made.

•Tony Gildersleeve was arrested in Dixons Mills on two warrants for unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.

•William Smith was arrested in Dixons Mills for disorderly conduct, public intoxication and resisting arrest.

•Mackel Watkins was arrested in Dixons Mills for second-degree possession of marijuana (three grams).

•Roderick Butler was arrested in Dixons Mills for unlawful possession of a controlled substance (13.5 grams of crack cocaine) and second-degree possession of marijuana. The Task Force seized a Taurus .40 handgun from Butler.

•Devin Dixon was arrested in Dixons Mills for unlawful possession of a controlled substance (9.6 grams of crack cocaine).

•Anthony James was arrested in Demopolis on a warrant for unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.

•Davonta Mitchell was arrested in Demopolis on three warrants for unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.

•Marcus Branch was arrested in Demopolis on two warrants for unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, and he was also found in possession of five .38 caliber bullets in the console of his car.

•Reginald Coleman was arrested in Demopolis on a warrant for unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and a new charge of second-degree possession of marijuana (five grams).

•Antjuan Coates was arrested in Demopolis on a warrant for unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.

In Sumter County, three arrests were made with a total of seven charges of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and one charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. Eighty-nine Xanax were seized in the Sumter County drug roundup.

The Sumter County arrests are as follows:

•Luvenia Harris was arrested on four warrants for unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.

•Lee Watkins Jr., was arrested on one warrant for unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and a new charge of possession of drug paraphernalia (a glass pipe).

•Jacquewsia Russell was arrested on one warrant of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and a new charge of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (89.5 Xanax).

Commander Clint Sumlin of the Task Force said these arrests are the culmination of a six-month investigation. The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.

Sumlin added that he wanted to thank the ABC Board for their special assistance in the investigations.

Also assisting in the investigations were the Alabama Rural Crimes Task Force, Thomaston Police Department, Demopolis Police Department, UWA Police Department and York Police Department.

Sumlin also wanted to thank each assisting department on their help in their jurisdictions.

In 2014, the Task Force has made 65 cases and seized approximately 250 grams crack, 71.2 grams of cocaine, 67.6 pounds of marijuana, numerous guns and vehicles. They have also seized more than $340,000 in cash in 2014 from drug dealers for a total of $1.4 million since the Task Force began in 2011.

The Drug Task Force was started in 2011 by District Attorney Greg Griggers to assist local law enforcement in combating drugs in Greene, Marengo and Sumter counties.