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Drug bust exposes possible prostitution ring
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The Multi Agency Crack Enforcement Drug Task Force, known for drug busts, added a crime specialty during a March 28 raid at a local motel.
Acting on anonymous calls about high traffic and disturbing activities at San's Inn Hotel in Hinesville, agents broke up what they report was a prostitution ring, as well as finding some alleged drugs.
After the complaints, MACE agents investigated and knocked on room 145. The agents spoke with the occupants, identified as Betty Leahy and Barbra Labar. Agents got consent to look inside the room and reported finding a substance believed to be cocaine residue. Both women were arrested.
During the investigation the women allegedly told the agents they were working as "women of the evening."
Armed with that information, agents staked out the room and, by the end of the evening, arrested several people for pandering and solicitation. They were also able to make a few drug related arrests.
Kenneth Taylor and Kenneth Marshall were arrested and charged with possession of crack cocaine and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. Leahy was charged with possession of cocaine, less than a gram. Craig Payne was arrested for pandering. David Bearney was arrested for pandering. And Valerie Green was arrested for pandering.
In another case that same day, MACE agents noticed a car in a convenience store parking lot near the motel playing loud music. Agents spoke with two women in the car and reportedly got consent to search it, leading Katherine Howarton and Phyllis Stokes to be arrested for possession of marijuana and loud music.
And in the parking lot of the Budget Motel agents caught Natalie Strodder allegedly smoking what the agents believed to be marijuana. She was reportedly found in possession of a gram of marijuana.
MACE agents say they have been getting complaints about activity in that area for some time. Agents spoke with the motels owner, San Patel, who told agents he would help them clean up the alleged criminal activity surrounding his hotel.
More recently, on April 4, a couple of MACE agents were driving near their office when they spotted what appeared to be a suspicious transaction in the parking lot of Save-A-Ton on E.G. Miles Parkway. Agents followed and stopped the car. As agents tried to speak with the three people in the car one of the passengers jumped out and ran to a group of mobile homes down the street. One of the agents chased the runner and caught him behind a mobile home. Agents reported that Benjamin Bacon, 18, was found with 53.7 grams of what appeared to be marijuana and a pill the agents believed was Ecstasy.
He was charged with possession of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute and obstruction of a law enforcement officer. The driver, Ashley Groover, 19, was found with 15.6 grams of suspected marijuana and a hand scale in the center console of the car. Robert Budito, 17, was charged with possession of marijuana. All three suspects are from the Hinesville area. MACE reports the seizure amounted to 2-1/2 ounces of what they believe to be marijuana. MACE will file for seizure of the car since it was used in a felony.
On Sunday, agents responded to a complaint and went to Lot #2 at Country Lane MHP in Allenhurst. Agents spoke with Patrick Brenizer and got permission to search his home. Inside they reportedly found 14 plants the agents believe to be marijuana, along with drug paraphernalia. Brenizer was arrested and agents reported they discovered he had alleged deserter from the Army while at Fort Stewart.  
He was charged with manufacturing marijuana, possession of marijuana (misdemeanor), possession of cocaine. He is likely to face charges from the military. A woman who lived with Benizer, Melody Harris, was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine and had a outstanding bench warrant from the city of Hinesville for failing to appear in court.
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