Pubdate: Tue, 26 Feb 2002
Source: Florence Times Daily (AL)
Copyright: 2002 Times Daily
Author: Tom Smith
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


RUSSELLVILLE - Quick spread of crystal methamphetamine into Franklin County 
has law enforcement officials united in an effort to keep the illegal drug 
in check.

Officers with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office and Russellville Police 
Department have made about 35 crystal meth cases during the past eight weeks.

"Methamphetamine is probably the most rapidly growing type of drug used in 
the area, but at the same time, meth arrests are also on the rise," said 
Franklin County District Attorney John Pilati.

Two more cases were added to the total during the weekend as four more 
arrests were made.

Officers seized 67 grams of methamphetamine in one of the cases. The drug 
has an estimated street value of $7,000.

Sheriff's investigators said 53-year-old Larry Saint, 6795 Frankfort Road, 
Tuscumbia, was arrested late Saturday night. He is charged with trafficking 
methamphetamine and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

A person convicted of trafficking faces a prison sentence of 10 years to 
life, with a minimum sentence of three years in prison. The possession 
charge is punishable by one-10 years in prison.

Officers found crystal meth, which is also called ice or crank, and a small 
amount of pills in his possession, authorities said.

They said the arrest was made following a tip that someone was bringing in 
a large quantity of drugs from out of state. Investigators waited nearly 15 
hours before spotting Saint traveling north on U.S. 43.

Belmont, Miss., police assisted local agencies in the arrest.

Authorities said Saint dropped a substance that was determined to be 
methamphetamine while outside his vehicle. They said more crystal meth was 
found stuffed in his pants when Saint was searched at the jail. He remains 
in the Franklin County Jail on bail of $27,500.

On Sunday, the sheriff's department, working with Russellville police, 
arrested three people in connection with manufacturing methamphetamine.

Arrested were 28-year-old Jason "Tater" Oneal Smith of 4067 Franklin 20, 
Spruce Pine, 24-year-old April Michelle Welch Motes of 86 Turner St., 
Spruce Pine, and 26-year-old Kenneth Ray Murray of 896 Ingle St., Hackleburg.

All three were charged with first-degree manufacturing methamphetamine and 
unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

Smith and Motes also face unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia charges.

First-degree manufacturing methamphetamine is a Class A felony.

The arrests were made during a traffic stop after officers received 
information that the trio had drugs and dangerous chemicals in their 

Officers found 3 grams of meth during a search of the car as well as 
various chemicals and other materials used in the manufacturing of the 
illegal drug.

All three remain in the Franklin County Jail. Smith and Motes are being 
held on $28,500 bail, while Murray's bail is $27,500.

"This is just another part of our ongoing investigation into illegal drug 
activity," said Franklin County Sheriff Larry Plott. "We want to send a 
message that this activity isn't going to be tolerated."
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