Two men were arrested on drug charges as the 21st Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force executed search warrants at two residences last week.
Johnson arrested at 601 Poplar Street
A methamphetamine (meth) lab was discovered in a home at 601 E. Poplar Street Wednesday, July 10, by members of the 21st Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force and officers with the Atmore Police Department (APD).
Ronald Terry Johnson was arrested and faces multiple charges in connection with the lab and other drugs found in the residence.
A search warrant was executed at the premises based on reports from several neighbors and on the observations of task force members who had been watching the residence. What was at first thought to be a routine collection of evidence became far more tense as a generator (a combination of chemicals in plastic bottles that react together to create the cooking process that manufactures meth) was found active in the bathroom of the home.
This is a highly volatile and dangerous stage of the process, so officers and suspects alike were rushed outside and equipment was brought in to safely remove the generator from the home. After putting on the protective gear, Drug Task Force Investigator Scott Walden removed the bottles containing the chemicals from the home and secured them, minimizing the danger.
APD officers Isaac Lopez, Jonathan Kelly, Ryan James and Drug Task Force Investigator Robbie Williams, along with Walden, carried out the search, finding chemicals and other items used to manufacture meth, drug paraphernalia, scales used to weigh the drugs before sale, and in a kitchen cabinet a hand-written recipe for cooking meth.
Johnson charged with the manufacture of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute (meth), and two counts of possession of a controlled substance (Soma and Xanax).
Johnson, a recent parolee, faces federal charges after firearms were discovered in the back bedroom of the home. He remains in custody at the Escambia County Detention Center on a $30,000 bond.
Finklea arrested at 110 Swift Street
Neighborhood complaints and a tip led to a drug bust on Swift Street Saturday afternoon, July 13.
Drug Task Force Agent Paige Howell said the real break came Friday night when an Escambia County Sheriff’s Office deputy pulled over a man who was in possession of crack. He showed officers where he bought the controlled substance – a mobile home at 110 Swift Street. He told officers the guy’s name who lives there is Tim.
Howell obtained a search warrant which was executed Saturday afternoon.
Officers found marijuana, cocaine, cocaine residue, Spice, drug scales with marijuana debris and plastic bags used in selling narcotics.
Timothy Finklea was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana II and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Also at the residence were four of Finklea’s friends who were there helping him work on a race car. All were cuffed and held while the residence and vehicles were searched. Department of Corrections K9 officer Dion Wasdin brought in his drug dog to assist in the search.
Also arrested were Kendrick Staples who had marijuana in his shoe and Victor McKenzie who was wanted on outstanding warrants.
The other two men who were detained – James Jarvis Peoples and Fred Lee Edwards – were released at the scene.
Also assisting in the execution of the search warrant were the Atmore Police Department and Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.