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Citizen complaints aid in drug arrests

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POSTED: April 15, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Photo provided / Coastal Courier/

Money, Pyrex beakers with residue, powdered cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana and a gun were among the items tagged as evidence after they were found in a Long County home Thursday.

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Anonymous tips and citizens' complaints have led to seven drug-related arrests, four in Liberty County on Wednesday and three in Long County on Thursday, by the Multi Agency Crack Enforcement Drug Task Force and the Long County Sheriff's Department.

March 26
After complaints of traffic and possible criminal activity, MACE agents began an investigation and spoke with Devane Bennett at her Cedar Hill MHP residence in Walthourville.
Bennett reportedly allowed the agents to enter and search her home.
According to MACE Commander Al Cato, the agents found what is believed to be 14.1 grams of marijuana, one Ecstasy pill, three Trazodone pills in a small bag, a C-9 High Point 9mm pistol and a Heritage Rough Rider 22 caliber revolver.
Along with Bennett, there were other people inside the residence and as a result of the investigation MACE agents made arrests.
Bennett, 21, was charged with possession of dangerous drugs. Bennett's brother, Donovan, was charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of Ecstasy. Also arrested was Christopher Burton, 18. He was charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana. And Herman Hoax, 22, was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of firearm during the commission of a crime.
Cato said there was also a soldier in the home, but he claimed he was just visiting. The military was called and was reportedly escorted back to Fort Stewart.

March 27
Based on citizens complaints, MACE agents and Long County Sheriff Cecil Nobles were sent to #6 Stuart Pines MHP. There they found a single home in the mobile home park. Agents knocked and spoke with Constance Brown who reportedly said she did not own the home and did not know who did.
Brown, 25, reportedly let the agents in to search. Cato said agents found what amounted to two pounds of suspected marijuana, much of which was already packed in plastic bags. They also allegedly found five grams of crack and four and a half ounces of powdered cocaine. In the kitchen, agents found Pyrex beakers that had suspected cocaine residue in them.
Cato said the agents discovered what is believed to be dope in the kitchen and throughout the house, including compressed bricks of marijuana in the attic crawl space. The agents also confiscated a microwave with suspected cocaine residue inside. The agents allege the microwave was used to cook the cocaine and make crack they had found already in the kitchen.
While talking with Brown, agents noticed a man get into a red SUV in front of the house. The man drove away and an agent went in pursuit. Agents stopped and brought Paul Cruz back to the house.
Agents discovered a 40-caliber Glock handgun and $2,200 cash in Cruz's vehicle. Brown had $600 cash with her.
Cruz, 29, also said he didn't know who owned the house. He acknowledged knowing Brown, saying they were both from Jesup.
The investigation led agents to allege the two were working together. Both face charges of trafficking, manufacturing crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute crack. Weapons and other charges are pending.
Agents found papers in the house indicating the residence was in the name of Clifton Jones. He was not there during the search but authorities have talked with him and he is supposed to turn himself in to the Long County Sheriff.
 

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