• 70°

40 arrested in drug operation in Dallas, Perry counties

BY JOSH BERGERON & JAY SOWERS / SELMA TIMES-JOURNAL

A series of drug raids carried out before sunrise Wednesday led to the arrest of 40 people in Dallas and Perry counties.

District Attorney Michael Jackson said the raids, which resulted in the arrests of suspects in Selma and Marion, were the result of a lengthy investigation by local, state and federal agencies determined to combat drug use and drug-related crime in the Black Belt.

“This raid dealt with all kinds of different drugs, and I want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for helping us clean up Dallas and Perry Counties,” Jackson said. “A lot of the violent crimes in Dallas County and Perry County are drug related. This raid sends a message that you can run but you can’t hide.”

A news release from the office of Kenyen R. Brown, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, said the investigation began in 2012.

Agents from the 4th Judicial Task Force, the Internal Revenue Service, United States Marshal’s Service, Alabama Department of Public Safety, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Alabama Bureau of Investigations were among those that took part in the investigation.

In the release, Brown said those arrested face a myriad of charges ranging from possession of marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine and prescription drugs to possession of firearm and money laundering.

Along with the arrests, the new release said search warrants were carried out for documents at four residences, two in Selma and two in Marion.

In the release, Brown said the arrests should make it clear to those involved in the local drug trade that they have not been forgotten by law enforcement.

“These arrests should send a strong message to dope peddlers and violent thugs that their activities will not be tolerated even in smaller or more rural communities,” Brown said. “Citizens from all communities should be able to enjoy their communities to the fullest without the fear of violence or the scourge of illegal drug distribution in their midst.”

Of the 40 arrested, Jackson estimated roughly 25 could face federal drug charges.

In the release from the Department of Justice, federal officials released only the names of 15 arrested. The release did not specify the charges filed against each person.

Those individuals included:

•Wesley Bartholomew Tubbs, 46, of Selma

•Theresa Jones Tubbs, 45, of Selma

•Anthony Dwayne White, 38, of Marion

•Skylark Renaldo Russell, 43, of Centreville

•Richard Terrell Underwood, 29, of Marion

•Stacy Rodriquez Heard, 34, of Marion

•Shanda Tyshae Tutt, 36, of Marion

•Tameka Deshae White, 33, of Marion

•Daniel Williams, 36, of Marion

•Sherri Derella Colvin, 36, of Marion

•Akeem Holifield, 21, of Marion

•Aundre Devon Holifield, 24, of Marion

•Richard Harrison Moore, 47, of Marion

•Dominikia Moore, 29, of Marion

•Erick Dwayne Phillips, 37, of Marion

“Some will be sent to Mobile to face federal drug charges,” Jackson said. “And others will go to Perry County Court to await court there.”

Jackson said the drug operations in the region, especially in Perry County, had become so large and lucrative that those involved in drug trafficking must have thought they’d never get caught.

“I think their greed overcame their common sense. They didn’t think they’d get caught, and they should have known better,” Jackson said. “We took the broom to them today when we arrested them, and we want to empty the dust pan in jail.”