Drug buys lead to arrests

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By Patrick Yost


A more than nine month undercover drug investigation sparked the arrest of five suspects last Friday and officers say more suspects will be arrested.

According to Sgt. Scott Pitocchelli, Madison Police Department, investigators with the Madison Police Department began identifying suspected drug dealers in Madison in August, 2015. Pitocchelli said the city made “controlled buys” from several suspects and maintained records regarding the purchases.

Det. Wes Thompson, Madison Police Department, said residents of the Green Meadows area and the Maple Street area approached law enforcement with complaints regarding suspected drug sales in those neighborhoods.

“The information we received led us to put this investigation together,” Pitocchelli said.

One suspect, Joel Massey, 64, Madison was charged on March 18 after he had been detained by Morgan County Sheriff’s Office officers on an outstanding arrest warrant out of Walton County. Once he was detained, Thompson said, city officials charged Massey with two counts sale of cocaine and one count sale of prescription pills.

Last Friday, officer began a wide sweep of other suspects. Arrested on Friday were:

• A.J. Ferrell, 47, Madison, three counts sale of cocaine, three counts sale of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school and three counts sale of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a public park.

• Phillipe Thomas, 27, Madison, one count sale of cocaine.

• Calvin Maurice Thomas, 32, Madison, three counts sale of cocaine.

• Demetrius Hardge, 38, Rutledge, two counts sale of cocaine.

Thompson said a “controlled buy” constituted sending an undercover agent into a residence or known drug dealing area and making a purchase. Several more suspects are wanted based on the operation, he said. Primarily, the operation netted “crack” cocaine sales.

Pitocchelli said the investigation and resulting arrests, would slow the flow of cocaine in the neighborhoods. “It will for a while,” he said.

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