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Trinity Standard - Local News

Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company

SRT officers serve local drug warrant
Trinity Standard -

TRINITY – An undercover drug operation by Trinity police culminated last week with a raid on a local residence and the arrest of three suspects on drug and weapons charges. The initial raid at a residence at 120 Smith Street occurred about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 29, when officers with the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Department Special Response Team (SRT) served an arrest warrant at the residence. Taken into custody on that warrant was Brandon Denman, 28, of Trinity. He was initially charged with the state jail felony of manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance (crack cocaine). Denman was subsequently charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana and two state jail felony charges of possession of a controlled substance (crack cocaine) and theft of a firearm. Two others found at the residence also were taken into custody. Hattie McGlothen, 61, was arrested on a felony charge of tampering with physical evidence and two counts of misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance (prescription pills). Johnny Lee Harris, 31, of Trinity also was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Jones said when officers arrived at the home, Harris was standing outside when officers saw a baggie containing what appeared to be marijuana fall out of his pants. Denman was transferred into the custody of the Trinity County Sheriff’s Department following the arrests. McGlothen was released after posting bonds totaling $18,000 while Harris was released after posting a $4,000 bond. Trinity Police Chief Steve Jones said the raid came after police made an undercover purchase of crack cocaine at the that location. The purchase allowed officers to obtain an arrest warrant for Denman issued by Trinity City Judge Howard Kinsel. “This residence has been the site of a number of incidents involving what we believe was drug-related gun violence,” Jones said, adding it was at this house where in December 2008 Lakendrick Simmons was shot to death during a home invasion involving three masked men. At that time, police suspected the armed intruders were looking for narcotics and that Simmons, who was staying temporarily at the residence, was “in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Jones noted the latest incident involving firearms occurred on Dec. 19, 2010 when police responded to a report of gunshots in the area. While the suspects in that shooting had fled the scene prior to the arrival of police, officers found 10 shell casing on the ground in front of the residence at 120 Smith Street. “Because of the history of firearms being used in and around that residence, we wanted to be very careful when we served the warrant,” Jones said. The police chief said when San Jacinto County Sheriff James Walters made his department’s SRT officers available, he quickly agreed. Jones explained that in addition to being equipped with body armor and special weapons, the SRT team members receive additional training for situations like this. Six SRT deputies and SRT Commander Capt., Jerry Everitt came to Trinity to conduct the raid. Jones said the deputies moved to the residence quickly and managed to gain control of the scene and the suspect without encountering resistance. He said when the SRT arrived, McGlothen spotted then and ran to a bathroom where officers found her attempting to flush pills down a toilet. The felony charge of tampering with evidence was filed in connection with that incident. Based on information obtained during the raid in addition to the information obtained during the undercover drug operation, Jones said officers then obtained a search warrant for the home. The police chief noted that Assistant District Attorney Bennie Shiro came to the Trinity Police Department and helped officers put together the paperwork. Jones and Sgt. Randy Wheeler then drove to Livingston where District Judge Elizabeth Coker signed the warrant. During the subsequent search, officers found additional crack cocaine, prescription pills and a 9 mm handgun that had been reported stolen in the Pearland area. Jones issued a public “thank you” to Sheriff Walters, Capt. Everitt, Deputy Daniel Adams and the entire San Jacinto SRT group for their assistance in the raid. “We’ve had a lot of success lately in solving a variety of crimes, including a drug cases such as this,” Jones said. “That success is based on the quality of information that we are receiving from the citizens of Trinity and I want to thank them for that help.” Jones said tips come directly to officers, from calls to the Trinity Police Department (594-2505) and through the Trinity County Crime Stoppers program (642-2334). “The crime stoppers tips are a very strong source of information right now and they have really helped us solve a number of crimes in the Trinity area,” he said. The police chief noted that through crime stoppers, local residents can provide information anonymously and are eligible for cash rewards if their information helps police make an arrest. “Any time we receive information, we do follow up on it. We just need the public to keep giving us information,” he added.


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