Six people suspected of selling narcotics were arrested Friday on Garth Avenue, and seven more arrests were expected in the culmination of an investigation that began in August.
Columbia police made 25 purchases of crack cocaine from 13 suspects, two of whom were juveniles ages 15 and 16, during August and September. The arrests are part of a police effort to target street-level drug dealers on Garth Avenue, said Capt. Brad Nelson, investigative commander.
Garth Avenue residents have been complaining to beat officers and calling the CrimeStoppers hot line about dealers selling drugs on the streets in their neighborhood, Nelson said. While police are aware that drug activity happens elsewhere in the city, Nelson said that based on the number of complaints, they decided to focus their resources on north Garth Avenue neighborhoods.
Officers bought $20 to $40 worth of crack cocaine from the suspects in monitored or recorded buys. Police have no reason to believe the sales are connected.
“I don’t think (the suspects) were part of some vast operation,” Nelson said.
Police obtained warrants for all the suspects for distribution of controlled substances and began making arrests. All of the adult suspects have been arrested by Columbia police before, Nelson said.
Crestful Williams, 18; Larry Y. Williams, 23; and Jaisun Smith, 19, were arrested on north Garth Avenue. Cory Foster, 18, and Kevin Crawford, 32, were already in jail on unrelated charges. Jay Dixon, 25, was arrested at 11:14 a.m. Friday near the intersection of Worley Street and McBaine Avenue.
Police were still looking for Emanuell Dansberry, 18; Rufus Thomas, 42; Johnny Ellis, 33; Michael Spence, 21; and Russell Crews II, 23. Sgt. Scott Young, narcotics unit supervisor, said neither of the two juveniles had been arrested.
Police ask that information concerning the whereabouts of these suspects be reported to CrimeStoppers at 875-8477. People who provide information that leads to an arrest may receive a $1,000 reward.