Po­lice bust Avery Street drug house

Five ar­rested in spe­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion

The Covington News - - Front Page - By Michelle Kim

Cov­ing­ton-New­ton County Spe­cial In­ves­ti­ga­tion Unit forces struck a known Cov­ing­ton drug haven Fri­day af­ter­noon, ar­rest­ing five peo­ple in con­nec­tion with us­ing or sell­ing co­caine and mar­i­juana.

Sed­er­ick O’Neil Bolden, 27, Scott Ben­ton, 62, Clarence Ben­ton, 53, Cur­tis Green, 57, and Michael Wright, 47, all from Cov­ing­ton, were ar­rested at 5172 Avery St. shortly af­ter 2 p.m. by a com­bined team of 13 mem­bers of the Cov­ing­ton-New­ton County SIU and theCov­ing­ton Po­lice De­part­ment.

The small, ram­shackle green build­ing on Avery Street was known as a “trap house,” or a lo­ca­tion where drug deal­ers take ad­van­tage of el­derly peo­ple ad­dicted to crack co­caine, said SIU Lt. Philip Brad­ford.

The renter of the build­ing, Scott Ben­ton, al­legedly al­lowed deal­ers to use his res­i­dence to sell drugs, which would be con­sumed on lo­ca­tion, ac­cord­ing to Brad­ford.

There might be eight to 10 peo­ple crowded into the bed­room of the tiny 600 to 800 square foot build­ing for that pur­pose.

The CPD had been re­ceiv­ing many com­plaints about the drug traf­fic at the res­i­dence, said Brad­ford. The Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tions Unit, which had seen in­creased crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity re­lated to the house, be­gan in­ves­ti­gat­ing about six weeks ago and con­duct­ing con­trolled pur­chases.

In Fri­day’s strike, Bolden, who re­port­edly at­tempted to flee out the back bed­room while jet­ti­son­ing a large amount of crack co­caine in his pos­ses­sion, was found with dig­i­tal scales, a tool com­monly used by drug sell­ers, and charged with pos­ses­sion of co­caine with in­tent to dis­trib­ute and pos­ses­sion of mar­i­juana. Bolden had been pre­vi­ously ar­rested about two blocks from the Avery Street house in March 2007 for sim­i­lar charges, said Brad­ford. Bolden had been out on bond while that case was in court but had his bond re­voked from the new ev­i­dence found in the search.

“Sed­er­ick will not be sell­ing any more drugs prior to the de­po­si­tion of th­ese tri­als,” said Brad­ford.

Scott Ben­ton, Clarence Ben­ton, Green and Wright were charged with pos­ses­sion of co­caine and mar­i­juana be­cause of crack pipes, residue and bags of crack found on their per­sons. The mar­i­juana was found laid out nearby in the house and charged to all the oc­cu­pants.

“Our main goal was to clear up a bad spot so all the neigh­bors will have a lit­tle peace now,” said Brad­ford.

The neigh­bor­hood had been a drug haven in the past, he said, but last sum­mer SIU had made a num­ber of drug ar­rests.

“This is an old, es­tab­lished neigh­bor­hood,” he said. “There are more good peo­ple in that area. We made the com­mit­ment, and are still com­mit­ted,” he said. “If you want to sell drugs, you’d bet­ter go else­where, be­cause we are not go­ing to stand idly by and let that hap­pen.”

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