3 to face charges for drugs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 29, 2000

Three Detroit, Mich.

Tuesday, February 29, 2000

Three Detroit, Mich., men will appear before the Lawrence County Grand Jury soon on drug charges.

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Marcus Davis, Johnnie Ewings and Richard Whittingham have all been charged with complicity to possession of crack cocaine, which is a first-degree felony; and complicity to preparation of drugs for sale, a fourth-degree felony, said Randy Wood, Lawrence County Municipal Court administrator.

The charges came after the three were arrested during a speeding violation and marijuana seeds and buds were found in the car, according to Chesapeake Police Department reports.

Chesapeake Sgt. Steve Sisler arrested Antoine Poole, the driver of the 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix in which Davis, Ewings and Whittingham were passengers, early Tuesday morning for excessive speed shortly after the vehicle entered Chesapeake corporation limits.

Sisler said he noticed the smell of alcohol and burnt marijuana, which caused him to test Poole for driving under the influence. That test came up with negligible results, but a check on Poole’s license revealed he was driving under suspension.

Following a search of Poole’s vehicle, where law enforcement officers discovered a large amount of cash and marijuana seeds and buds, there was a search of Poole’s hotel room at the Comfort Inn in South Point.

Officers turned up 7.02 grams of crack cocaine. The drug was individually wrapped into 80 different blocks, which is a sure sign of trafficking, said Tim Newman, Chesapeake assistant police chief.

Other items found during the search included scales that could be used to weigh the crack, blades that could be used to cut up the crack, rubber bands that could be used to wrap up the $7,448 discovered, a gun cleaning kit, tobacco that indicates the emptying of Philly Blunt cigars for use with marijuana and a locked box that contained a .380 caliber handgun, Sisler said.

The arrest was a joint effort of the Chesapeake Police Department, Athalia Police Department, Proctorville Police Department, Ohio Highway Patrol, Ironton Police Department, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department and the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office, who all aided in the gathering of evidence, Sisler said.

All four suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges at their arraignments Wednesday in Lawrence County Municipal Court. Bond was set for Davis, Ewings and Whittingham at $100,000, and $150,000 for Poole, Wood said.

"There was a preliminary hearing (Monday)," he said. "The judge found probable cause and bound them over to the grand jury."

Poole was charged with having a weapon while under disability, which is a fifth-degree felony; possession of crack cocaine, which is a first-degree felony; preparation of drugs for sale, which is a fourth-degree felony; and possession of criminal tools, which is a fifth-degree felony, Wood added..

Poole did not have an attorney Monday, so his preliminary hearing has been rescheduled for March 6, Wood said.

Poole also will appear before Chesapeake Mayor’s Court March 8, Newman said.