Officers bust crack house

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 13, 2003

Three men are behind bars after local, state and federal authorities busted a crack house late last week. Police say they're still looking for others involved.

William R. Carter, Jr., 50, was charged with aggravated trafficking in drugs, possession of drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of drug instruments, permitting drug abuse and possession of criminal tools.

Richard R. Crawford, Jr., 38, of Cincinnati, was charged with possession of drugs, and

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Lawrence Williams, 57, of Ironton, was charged with possession of drugs.

Ironton Police detective, Capt. Chris Bowman, said the arrests were made at Carter's residence at 619 S. Ninth St., and came after a lengthy investigation that has taken several months.

"This is the result of information received by the Lawrence County Drug Task Force," Bowman said. "There were numerous complaints from residents in that area, lots of traffic."

In addition to crack cocaine, authorities seized prescription medication, drug paraphernalia and weapons in the raid.

In addition to the Ironton Police Department, the investigation also involved the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office, Lawrence County Prosecutor's Office, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

Lawrence County Prosecutor J.B. Collier said he is pleased with the success of the investigation and the unified effort among the different agencies.

"All the law enforcement agencies work extremely well together," Collier said. "There's a real spirit of cooperation."

Collier said the local drug task force is primarily concerned with finding those who sell drugs and getting those people off the streets.

"We're principally involved with finding people who deal in the hard stuff, though no one is immune. If you're selling, there are consequences."

Bowman said he hopes the drug community gets a clear message that their illegal activity will not be tolerated in Lawrence County.

"This ought to send a message that we're certainly not going to put up with drug trafficking, people operating crack houses -- and that's what it was, a crack house," Bowman said. "We want to send a message to drug dealers and the drug community we take this seriously."

Lawrence County Sheriff Tim Sexton, noting that the arrests were the result of an anonymous tip, said he hopes other people will turn in suspected dope dealers.

"We encourage people to help us," Sexton said. "They can call the hotline and give us tips. These (tips) do produce arrests."

In addition to the drug arrests, authorities also took two women into custody on unrelated warrants out of Ironton Municipal Court. They are Trenda Triplett, 44, and Laura Mullins, 40, both of Ironton.