‘Clean Sweep’ nets four drug arrests
Madison police partner with Drug Task Force to further “community policing”
By Patrick Yost
The Madison Police Department's “Operation Clean Sweep” swept up four men on marijuana possession with intent to distribute charges last Thursday.
According to Carl Jones, assistant police chief, Madison Police Department, the arrests came after a Madison police officer on crime suppression duty made the arrests following a traffic stop.
Jones said the department has instituted, in partnership with the Ocmulgee Drug Task Force, a renewed focus on “community policing” that will include increased foot patrols and fostering of neighborhood contacts. “We are going to target each and every neighborhood in the city of Madison,” Jones said. “Our goal is to keep the level of street-level drug activity at a very minimum.”
“We want to get to the point where the people in the community know their police officer.” Jones said the effort will focus on increased communication between officers and the community that, he believes, will lead to more effective crime suppression. “We'll continue to gather information from street contacts and we’ll act on it to help keep the community safe.”
The four suspects in Thursday’s arrest got to know Corp. Phillip Malcom. Malcom said he was operating near Vine Street when he observed a black Honda Accord weaving. Malcom said he then noticed that the front passenger was not wearing a seatbelt.
Following a traffic stop, Malcom said, he and other officers found two bags of suspected marijuana in the vehicle after a canine officer from the Morgan County Sheriff's Office alerted on the vehicle. The vehicle’s driver, Tyree Adarlyn Smith, 30, Madison, refused a request to search the vehicle. Malcom said he and other officers located a plastic bag in a stocking cap in the backseat that contained more than an ounce of suspected marijuana. He said they also located a plastic bag of suspected high-grade marijuana wedged between the backseat of the vehicle.
Malcom also confiscated a .380-caliber handgun from front seat passenger Brady Gilmore, 25, Buckhead, that had a loaded clip.
Smith, Gilmore, Albert Mel Burke, 33, Madison and Walter Merrit, 25, Madison, were all charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, tampering with evidence and possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute in a drug–free commercial zone. Smith was also charged with driving with a suspended license. Gilmore was charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
The traffic stop was made at approximately 6:30 p.m.
Printed in the October 4, 2012 edition.