News and Tribune

Floyd County

April 1, 2014

Clarksville police arrest 15 during sweep

Those arrested had warrants related to drug-dealing charges

CLARKSVILLE — Clarksville Police Department officers swept the streets Tuesday morning, serving warrants on 15 people wanted on class A and B felony drug-dealing charges.

The officers used the element of surprise, raiding homes in the earlier morning hours while the wanted persons slept, but the arrests were no April Fools’ Day pranks.

The arrests were made throughout Clarksville, Jeffersonville, New Albany and one each in Charlestown and Louisville.

CPD Maj. Darrell Rayborn said those arrested were wanted on warrants related to alleged crimes that had occurred in Clarksville.

During the nearly five-hour operation, CPD was assisted by the Jeffersonville Police Department’s Narcotics Division and the U.S. Marshals Great Lakes Fugitive Task Force of Southern Indiana.

“We know we are not going to shut down the drug trade, but we hope to make a good dent in the trade, here, in this area,” Rayborn said.

Several handguns and a relatively small amount of drugs — primarily methamphetamine, cocaine and prescription medications — were recovered during the operation.

“This investigation has been going on for several months. Drug officers, here, with the Clarksville Police Department, have been conducting this and, at this time, decided to make the arrests,” Rayborn said.”

He said making a large amount of arrests at one time prevents wanted people from being notified and possibly taking steps to evade capture. By serving the arrest warrants while many of the offenders were expected to be sleeping, Rayborn said officers had more control of the situations.

He said those targeted during the operation, which began around 5 a.m., had been identified by undercover officers, streets officers and informants.

“They were all dealers, selling to users in our area,” Rayborn said. “The Clarksville Police Department, we are going to keep doing stings like this. We are going to try to make a dent in the drug activity and crime in general.

By taking drug offenders off the street, police hope to see the rate of other crimes decline.

“People are committing crimes, burglaries, thefts to support their drug habits, and, hopefully, something like this will deter some of that,” Rayborn said.

Mirroring statements made by CPD Chief Mark Palmer, Rayborn said the current administration is taking a more aggressive stance toward drug crimes than Clarksville has seen in the past.

“Crime in general, and drug activity, for a long time, it was just sort of swept under, and now we are being proactive in that area. Now, we are working hard to take care of it,” Rayborn said. “We dealt with it [crime], but not to the extent that we are dealing with it now.”

After Palmer took on the role of chief in January 2012, he said it was apparent to him that more needed to be done to combat drug activity in Clarksville, and he organized the first drug unit in the department’s history.

“This was our goal, to get to the point that we had a special unit to address the drug problem,” Palmer said. “When I came into the administration, there were certain problems that were pointed out. The community spoke very loudly. Drug problems were at the top of the list.”

While Palmer says drug use in Clarksville will continue to be an issue to some level, he thinks the drug squad “ ... is effective and making some changes.”

He said with an active drug unit, the department can send a stronger message to dealers and users.

“It [drug activity] is not going to be tolerated,” Palmer said. “That is our overall goal, to let people know they can’t do that in Clarksville.”

Three other individuals, not listed below, were arrested during the operation. Rayborn said warrants included in the operation remained outstanding on four individuals.

Those arrested Monday morning during were: Shadai J’Parr Al-Uqdah, 21; Jeremy Weedin, 25; Jeremy Ford, 22; Aaron Combs, 29; Cherok Douglas, 29; Barbara Spellman, 33; David Spencer, 33; Thomas Milburn, 56; Richard Kenendy, 43; Nicole Kaelin, 30; Shawn Jones, 37; Brittany Hoak, 31; Justin McAdams, 31; Stanley Bunzy, 34; and Gregory Broy Jr., 36.

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