SIU makes drug bust in SandHil­larea

Same area busted a year ago, SIU vows to clean up

The Covington News - - Front Page - By Am­ber Pittman

Agents from the Cov­ing­ton/New­ton County Spe­cial In­ves­ti­ga­tions Unit (SIU) ar­rested three men on Fri­day in a bust two months in the mak­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to SIU Com­man­der Lt. Phillip Brad­ford, agents hit a home on Car­roll Street where they had re­port­edly been mak­ing un­der­cover pur­chases of crack co­caine for two months. Un­der­cover of­fi­cers al­legedly pur­chased drugs from 32-year-old Shak­ina Hen­der­son of Wal­nut Street and 23-year-old Ron­nie Far­ley of Car­roll Street. A third man, 22-year-old Wil­lie King Jr. was also ar­rested for pos­ses­sion of mar­i­juana.

Brad­ford said in 2006 Hen­der­son was ar­rested for sale of co­caine in a bust by SIU - then called the East Metro Drug En­force­ment Team – and was sent to prison. He has re­port­edly been out of prison for less than one year.

Also, in March of last year, SIU did a bust in the same area - re­ferred to as Sand Hill by lo­cals; the com­mu­nity con­sists of the streets off of Wash­ing­ton Street, in­clud­ing Ivy and

School streets. Dur­ing that par­tic­u­lar bust, be­tween 25 and 30 peo­ple were ar­rested fol­low­ing a four-month in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter three search war­rants were served in one day.

“We ar­rested a pile of peo­ple that day and ev­ery sin­gle one of them has pled guilty and are in prison do­ing time,” Brad­ford said.

Also in­di­rectly in­volved in the bust last year was an 86year-old woman. Ac­cord­ing to Brad­ford many of the peo­ple ar­rested in the 2007 bust were re­lated to her in some way and they would flock to her home and sell drugs out of the house.

“She is not sus­pected in any wrong­do­ing but the wrong­do­ing of her chil­dren, grand­chil­dren and great-grand­chil­dren keep her on the move,” said Brad­ford.

The house that SIU hit on Fri­day was that el­derly woman’s home and those ac­cused of sell­ing crack co­caine were her grand­chil­dren. Her daugh­ter, the mother of one of those ar­rested Fri­day, was ar­rested last year for sell­ing co­caine, ac­cord­ing to Brad­ford.

“I said it be­fore and I told them again to­day,” said Brad­ford. “That Sand Hill will not re­turn to the way it used to be and we [SIU] are com­mit­ted to keep­ing that com­mu­nity clean. That is the last place that any­one in Cov­ing­ton who wants to sell dope needs to set up shop be­cause it will def­i­nitely draw the most at­ten­tion to them,” he said.

Ev­ery buy made by un­der­cover agents was of crack co­caine, ac­cord­ing to Brad­ford. The amount and prices var­ied but all sales were of us­able amounts from $20-$100 and from one to four rocks at a time.

“We have nu­mer­ous pur­chases out of that house and we have it on video, so we have a very strong case,” Brad­ford said.

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