Capt. Billy ‘Skip’ Elliott, (left), Sgt. David Vilches and Lt. James Golden stand over the cash, guns and marijuana that were seized during a drug bust by the Pine Bluff Narcotics Division on Wednesday. (Special to The Commercial/William Harvey)
Approximately $3,000 in cash and 16 pounds of marijuana were seized during Wednesday’s raid (Special to the Commercial/William Harvey)
Sixteen pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of approximately $25,000 was seized Wednesday morning on the east side of Pine Bluff and one man was arrested in what police said was the first of many busts to come.
In addition to the drugs, investigators found two semiautomatic rifles and $3,000 in cash, along with two smoking pipes.
The suspect was identified as Terron Williams, 24, also known as Squirrel, who was arrested in the front part of the house, police said.
Vice and Narcotics Lt. James Golden said officers began compiling lists of “heavy drug dealers” on Jan. 1 after interim Police Chief Jeff Hubanks announced his intention to go after major dealers as a way to reduce crime in the city.
“You do not get significant amounts like this when you’re busting people for one ounce just to justify your existence,” Hubanks said. “This is what we’ve talked about from day one and now it’s coming to fruition and we want to let the people know this is just the beginning.
“We’re going to drum the drug dealers either out to prison or out of town and we hope they leave town but we want them to know, we’re coming,” Hubanks said.
Vice and Narcotics detectives served a search warrant at 3605 Missouri St., as a result of the investigation, which was led by Detective Richard McCorvy, and used the department’s SWAT team to enter the house.
Capt. Skip Elliott said 11 bags containing 1.4 to 1.6 pounds each of marijuana were found in a black bag in the southeast corner bedroom, along with the two guns and the cash, which was in a dresser drawer.
Williams was arrested on probable cause of possession of a controlled substance with purpose to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia and simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms pending a probable cause hearing and the filing of formal charges by the prosecuting attorney’s office.
In addition to the drugs, guns and cash, Golden said investigators seized financial records from the house and that “will take the investigation in another direction.”
Detective Sgt. David Vilches said a canine unit from the Arkansas Department of Correction also assisted officers in serving the warrant and searching the house.
“It’s a good day for Pine Bluff,” Mayor Debe Hollingsworth said during the press conference in her office to announce the arrest. “This shows that we are following through on what we said we were going to do.
Golden said investigators have determined that some of the drug dealers in Pine Bluff are having their drugs delivered by FedEx.
“Do we have a problem in Pine Bluff? Yes, we do,” Golden said, “and it’s time to stop that problem. It’s time to hit the drug dealers where it hurts.”