Out-of-state dealers frustrating police

After Thursday’s drug bust on the west side of Marion, which resulted in three Chicago men arrested on heroin-related charges, Maj. Randy Caryer with the Marion Police Department said he was frustrated to see so many out-of-state dealers in Marion.

“I don’t understand people coming from out of state selling poison to our community,” he said.

Three Chicago men, Otis Oliver, 25, Cornell Shepard, 22, and Durrain Land, 24, added to the number of out-of-state residents arrested in Marion on drug charges.

Oliver was arrested on three counts of trafficking in heroin and one count of trafficking in drugs.

Shepard was arrested on two counts of trafficking in heroin and one count of trafficking in drugs. He faced charges on June 4 for possession of heroin.

Land was arrested on obstructing official business and resisting arrest. He was out on bond for a previous charge of trafficking in heroin. Police said he has also previously fled from court on April 9 by jumping off a city hall balcony.

Caryer asked for local judges and prosecutors to be stricter against drug dealers from Detroit and Chicago.

“If they’re from out of town, they should hammer them,” he said.

The three Chicagoans were joined by one Marion woman, 28-year-old Jessica Tackett. She was charged with permitting drug abuse. Police said she was renting the property at 208 Blaine Ave. and living there.

All four were arrested on multiple drug-related charges around 9:30 a.m. Thursday, but police had been planning the raid for nearly two weeks.

Thursday started in the basement of the police station, where 18 members of the Marion Police Department and Marion County Sheriff’s Office met for a briefing session at 9:15 a.m.

Officers were planning to serve a search warrant that was received after two controlled buys were completed Wednesday. Undercover agents had successfully purchased heroin and Percocet from men at the house.

Maj. Jay McDonald said police had received tips from neighbors as well, which resulted in at least one other raid in the same home earlier this year.

It was only seconds after parking their vehicles and detonating two flash grenades that the house was surrounded by officers and the suspects were in custody.

Police held the three men outside in a pickup while the Drug Task Force searched the home.

Some of the neighbors took notice of the action, watching the arrests from their porches.

“People across the street were clapping,” said Maj. Bill Collins.

Officers also reported money and a small amount of drugs found at the scene.

Although police considered the raid a success, they still encountered a few surprises.

On their way to the house, police received word that a white male had entered the home. The male was handcuffed by police, but McDonald said he was let go shortly after the other men were found.

Three children also were found in the house, which was unexpected. Officers said no children were in the building during their briefing. Caryer was told they got in last night. Marion County Children Services was notified.

While formal charges are expected to be filed by the county prosecutor in upcoming days, one police officer decided to give his own message to the suspected heroin dealers. As he handcuffed one of the men arrested, he introduced the Chicagoans to the city.

“Welcome to Marion, boys,” he said.

Originally published in the Marion Start on July 26, 2013.

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