Friday, October 24, 2014

Meth bust nets 4 pounds of high quality meth

Zanda Lee Gonzalez                Edgar Jesus Cervantes

Two alleged drug traffickers and more than 4 pounds of methamphetamine are off the streets as a result of an multi-agency investigation initiated with a traffic stop in Boaz.
At a press conference Thursday, the Etowah County Drug Enforcement Unit, the Etowah County District Attorney’s Office and Sheriff Todd Entrekin announced the arrests and displayed the drugs seized — with a street value of nearly $200,000.
The couple arrested had gotten the attention of the DEU before a Boaz police officer made an unrelated traffic stop and found them in possession of one ounce of methamphetamine. After that discovery, Boaz police and the Etowah and Marshall County drug units executed a search warrant at the couple’s Bryant Drive residence in Attalla and found about 4 pounds of meth and a handgun.
24 year old Edger Jesus Cervantes,  and 22 year old Zanda Lee Gonzalez, were arrested Oct. 14 and charged with one count each of drug trafficking. The two remain in the Marshall County Detention Center on $25,000 bond. Entrekin said Cervantes is without legal status and will be held for Immigrations and Customs after the drug charges are dealt with.

DEU Commander Rob Savage said the methamphetamine seized is 96 to 98 percent pure, meaning it could be “stepped on” or cut three times before being sold on the streets.

Savage said details of the investigation were not immediately released because the agencies involved continued to follow leads and wanted to ensure that making the arrests known would not compromise their efforts.

Gadsden police make arrests in wildlife park

The Gadsden Special Projects Team routinely patrols the James D. Martin Wildlife Park after its posted “sunset” closing time to roust those trespassing in the park  located between the back parking lot of the Gadsden Mall and South 11th Street.
 The team did its most recent sweep this past Saturday , ticketing five adults and arresting even more juveniles there for criminal trespass.

The weekend operation came after the police department received some complaints. Some of those came from parents,  who have become aware of two YouTube videos showing 30 or 40 people fighting in the park.

Fighting is one of the infractions that sometimes occur there after hours. Russell said police also are concerned about drug use, drinking and sexual activity there.

Police say that apparently some parents take their children to the mall and drop them off, leaving them unsupervised.

And then, it seems, some of those juveniles leave the mall, heading across the back parking lot to what’s commonly called “the bird sanctuary.”

Amerson urges County Commission to plan to replace jail

Calhoun County Jail

Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson asked the Calhoun County Commission Thursday to starting planning to replace his jail, saying it's overcrowded, old and too costly to maintain.
Commissioners agreed that with constant overcrowding and rising maintenance costs, it’s time to start planning to replace a jail that will hit its 30th birthday next year. But while officials agree a new jail is needed, they don't yet know of a way to pay for it.
Commission Chairman Tim Hodges, said he supports the sheriffs desire for a new jail and has already had informal discussions about it with the sheriff and county administrator.
Joiner said jail construction costs have risen considerably since the current one was built three decades ago. The county paid $7 million to build the current jail. Joiner estimates it would cost around $40 million to build a modern jail.
Commissioner J.D. Hess said he hopes the state or federal government, or both, would help shoulder some of the cost burden for a new jail. In any case, the commission must start planning to replace it before it falls below state standards.
Joiner said the jail has faced overcrowding for years. The jail was built to house 330 inmates, but routinely holds more than 400.
Joiner said that wear and tear is costly. The commission is currently footing a $400,000 bill to repair and renovate the jail’s showers.

High School Football

 The Class 7A, No. 3 Gadsden City Titans are the first Region 4 champions, but the team still has one more game to play, as Gadsden City travels to Buckhorn on Friday night.
The final region showdown has little meaning in the standings, but it certainly can affect the Titans’ (8-1, 6-0) momentum going into the postseason, especially if they fall to the Bucks (5-3, 3-3). Hear the action tonight on thunder 99.3.  Etowah has won five of their last six games and if the Blue Devils want to be guaranteed a home playoff game, they need to win tonight  when they host Madison County in their final Class 5A, Region 7 game of the season.  Hear all the action tonight on 930 WGAD. 
Saks and Jacksonville have at least three things in common.
Both have lost to Region 6 champion Cleburne County. Both have defeated everyone else on their schedules. And both currently have their sights on winning tonight to clinch second place in the region.
Saks enters the game ranked No. 7 in the ASWA poll, while Jacksonville is No. 8. Hear all the action on WFZX the fox.  Cleburne county still celebrating after clinching the region head to Hokes bluff tonight to take on the eagles. Hear all the action on Thunder 92.7.
In other action tonight, Oxford faces a challenge tonite,  Beat Chelsea, and the Yellow Jackets are in the playoffs. Lose to Chelsea, and they’ll need help to get in.
Pleasant Valley faces a big challenge tonight— can the Raiders defeat region champion Glencoe to clinch the fourth playoff spot out of the region?
If not,  can the Weaver Bearcats defeat region runner-up Piedmont to clinch the playoff spot?
If not, can Westbrook Christian defeat Ashville to create a three-way tie?
If not, Pleasant Valley is in. If Westbrook picks up the win, the fourth-place team won’t be decided until after the games of Oct. 31.
Alexandria did Lincoln a favor last week by defeating Moody. The Cubs’ win not only clinched a playoff spot for themselves, but also clinched the region title for Lincoln.
The Cubs are playing for third or fourth place going into tonights game against Anniston. A win would clinch the third spot. If Alexandria loses, a Lincoln win over Moody would have the same result.  All of tonights games kickoff at 7.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Calhoun County annual family violence roundup

Sherrif Larry Amerson

  Calhoun County deputies arrested more than a dozen people during the 12th annual National Family Violence Apprehension Detail.  Sheriff Larry Amerson said the nationwide event began in Clackamas County, Oregon, and is an effort to serve outstanding family and domestic violence warrants through a sweep or round up.  Calhoun County deputies also carried warrants for sex offenders found to be in non-compliance with their registration.
Deputies and U.S. Marshals recently did compliance checks on every registered sex offender in Calhoun County, to see if they were living where they are registered and if the conditions are in line with the law.
Investigators found about 40 of the 400 people for whom the sheriff's office keeps records were in violation, which the sheriff said is a big number at one time.
Two teams of four deputies showed up on door steps of suspects in domestic cases, and at homes where they believed some of the non-compliant registered sex offenders live.
People at one Anniston house told deputies the man they were looking for was in California and hadn't been in the county in months.  When investigators mentioned the suspect got a new Alabama ID at the beginning of the month, deputies said a woman confessed he was in the back of the house.
He went to jail for failing to pay $34,500 in outstanding child support from a previous case.
As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, there were 13 people in custody for a total of 15 charges.  Deputies will continue to search for the people who have outstanding warrants.