|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company
Series of raids, traffic stops send 5 to jail
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – A series of raids and traffic stops sent a number of people to jail last week on drug-related charges. Among those charged were Raykhan Houston, 27, Jose Curringham, 36, Stephan Leos, 30, and Donald Hobbs, 32, all of Trinity, and Shanice Spurlock, 18,of Crockett. According to Trinity Police Chief Steve Jones, two of the arrests came on Tuesday, Jan. 4, when police raided a mobile home at 114 Rockdale. Jones said the residence was a “known narcotics house” and that police had made arrests there in the past. “We had been watching it ever since it appeared to open back up after the last arrests,” the police chief said. Based on information gathered by police from different sources, Jones said investigators were able to obtain a search warrant. “Assistant District Attorney Bennie Shiro came in and helped us prepare the warrant. He made sure we crossed all the ‘T’s and dotted all the ‘I’s before we drove to Livingston where Judge (Elizabeth) Coker signed it,” he said. When officers entered the residence at about 6:30 a.m., they found Houston and Spurlock as well as cocaine in the kitchen. Crock cocaine also was found hidden under the back porch and a quantity of marijuana was found in a car parked at the residence. Both Houston and Spurlock were charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana, Bonds totaling $9,000 were set by Municipal Judge Howard Kinsel for both suspects. Jones noted police received a tip that crack cocaine was being “cooked” in the residence and evidence obtained during the raid tended to confirm then. He said they found a file of a white powder that seemed to consist mostly of a cutting agent mixed with powder cocaine lying on the top of a freezer in the kitchen area. To make crack, drug dealers will mix the narcotic with a cutting agent such a flour, liquefy it and then cook it down into a solid that resembles a white cookie. That cookie is then broken apart into “rocks” which are then sold. Most often these rocks are placed in a small pipe and then smoked by the drug user. Jones said that because of the repeated arrests made at the residence, police will now seek to seize the property. On Saturday, police also arrested Leos when officers spotted him driving into the city. Jones said police had information that he would be coming to town and were seeking to serve two Trinity County warrants charging him with failing to appear in court on a charged of assault of a peace office and felony possession of controlled substances. “We had three two-man teams of officers around the city waiting for him to arrive when he literally drove past officers Tom Park and Donald Givens,” Jones said. “The two officers immediately turned on their lights to stop the vehicle and radioed the other units of their discovery. After Leos was taken into custody, one of the officers noticed that he appeared to be chewing something. When asked what he had in his mouth, Jones said he began chewing more vigorously and attempted to swallow. Officers found two small plastic baggies which contained what appeared to be methamphetamine residue Because of the outstanding warrant pending against the suspect, Jones said no additional charges were filed at this time based on the arrest. “We’re going to take the information to the grand jury and let them decide if they want to file additional charges such as tampering with physical evidence or possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance,” Jones said. Two Trinity women in the vehicle with Leos also were arrested. Dana Smith, 29, was taken into custody on warrants for unpaid traffic fines and her cousin, Windy Smith, 30, was arrested on a charge of operating a vehicle without insurance. On Monday morning, officers also arrested Hobbs on a felony probation violation warrant issued in Walker County. Jones said that shortly after 9 a.m., officers went to a residence at 109 Locke Street in Joe’s Trailer Park to arrest Hobbs. Inside they found three women in the living room and were told Hobbs was in the bedroom. Jones said when he went to the back bedroom, he did not immediately see the suspect and later discovered him hiding in the bathroom. The police chief said when he ordered the suspect to come out, he got no response and finally had to reach into the small bathroom and pull him out. Jones noticed a pill bottle laying under the bathroom sink which he discovered three crack rocks. The three women found in the home were charged with possession of drug paraphernalia after police also recovered a number of crack pipes in their possession. The arrest of Cunningham, also known as “Jose Sr.” came on Monday, Jan. 3, when Jones made a traffic stop on West Pine Valley Drive. The 2005 Kia was pulled over at about 10:30 p.m. with two people inside it. Jones said when the Kia initially stopped, it came to a halt in a driveway and then suddenly pulled forward closer to the residence. “It looked like the driver may have been trying to get away so I called for assistance and officers (Randy) Wheeler and (Justin) Sikes joined me at the scene,” Jones said. While Jones was talking to a female passenger in the car, Sikes was talking to the driver, who Jones identified as Cunningham. “The suspect was standing with his hands in his pockets and when Officer Sikes asked him to take them out, the suspect took off running,” Jones said. Sikes chased the man on foot while Jones got into his patrol car and circled around a wooded area in an effort to cut him off. “Sikes fell down twice but was still able to get up and catch him,” Jones said. When asked why he ran, Jones said the suspect told officers he was on probation and had marijuana in his pocket. He claimed that during the chase, he was able to throw it away. “We did an extensive search but due to the amount of roadside trash and underbrush in the wooded area, we were unable to locate anything,” the police chief said. Cunningham was charged with felony tampering with physical evidence and misdemeanor evading arrest. He was ordered held under bonds totaling $15,000.