County drug task force busts crack house
Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 6, 2003
A raid on a suspected crack house early Friday morning has netted eight arrests and a quantity of crack cocaine, as well as an assortment of drug paraphernalia.
Ironton police detective Capt. Chris Bowman said the apartment in a building at 1822 S. Eighth St. had been under surveillance for several months, after the Ironton Police Department and the Lawrence County Drug Task Force received numerous complaints from people in that area about alleged drug activity.
Those arrested were:
Email newsletter signup
4Kenneth Freeman, 56, 1822 S. Eighth St., who was charged with two counts of permitting drug abuse and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
4Michael Gannon, 47, of 365 Township Road 253 E, Ironton, who is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
4James W. Fleming, 33, 619 Pine St., Ironton, who is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
4Todd S. Simpson, 32, 618 Washington St., Coal Grove, who is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
4Victoria L. Zimmerman, 47, Portsmouth, who is charged with possession of criminal tools, possession of crack cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
4Walter A. Christian, 57, 10141 State Route 243, South Point, who is charged with possession of crack cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
4Charles E. Holler, 42, 506 Township Road 338, Ironton, who is charged with possession of crack cocaine.
4Michael Patrick, 36, 3018 S. Sixth St., Ironton, who was arrested on an outstanding warrant.
All of the eight people will likely be arraigned next week in Ironton Municipal Court. Bowman said he expects additional charges will be filed against these people in the near future, and that other people will be arrested later in connection with Friday's raid.
The names were well-known to local law enforcement. Bowman said they are "somewhat" connected to three "major drug players" who were arrested last month on drug charges.
Lawrence County Drug Task Force investigator David Marcum pointed out that Freeman, who was the person who rented the apartment, was charged with two counts of permitting others to use drugs at his residence. When Keleci Hill, Antwan Winbush and Cameron Simmons were arrested last month, authorities said they would pursue charges against any local people who allowed their residences to be used for drug activity.
"If you allow this activity to go in your residence, you will face charges," Marcum said.
"These people (drug dealers) couldn't operate unless people here allow them to come into their homes and deal," Bowman said. "We take this very seriously."
The arrests come only weeks after Ironton Police Chief Bill Garland moved an officer from road duties to the detectives bureau, allowing Bowman to concentrate his efforts on the city's war on drugs.
"We're tickled to be able to accomplish this,"
Garland said. "This was my reason behind moving an extra person into the detective's bureau, to free Chris up to hit the drug problem hard."
The arrests were a joint effort by local law enforcement agencies, including the Ironton Police, Lawrence County Prosecutor's Office, and the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office.
Lawrence County Sheriff Tim Sexton praised not only the cooperation of the different agencies involved, but the local residents who are willing to come forward with information about illegal activity in their neighborhoods.
"This is another cooperative effort between the different agencies," Sexton said. "People can keep calling with their complaints about suspected drug activity. We know we haven't gotten all of them but we are working hard toward that."