News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2007

'Decent' residents key to wiping out 'major trouble spot' in Town Creek, chief says

By Kristen Bishop 340-2443

TOWN CREEK — Information received from concerned residents is helping the Town Creek Police Department clean up a once crime-infested apartment complex, said Police Chief Jerry L. Garrett.

One of those tips helped lead police to a man Wednesday who allegedly kept marijuana, cocaine and scales for weighing drugs within reach of his 1-year-old son.

Town Creek Apartments on Auburn Street, a government-assisted housing complex, has been a "major trouble spot" for police, said Garrett. Crime is still a problem there, but the police chief said he believes "decent" residents will be the key to wiping out illegal activity and making the complex safe.

"It almost got to the point that the good people were being overrun by the drug dealers, but it seems that more and more residents at the complex are providing us with information and not tolerating those people selling drugs," said Garrett. "It's turning into a better place."

Officers were serving a misdemeanor failure-to-appear warrant to Ladondrick Monquez Jones, 24, on Wednesday at Apartment 502 when they smelled marijuana, he said.

While searching the apartment, police found marijuana "other than what (Jones) was smoking when (officers) knocked on the door," cocaine, drug-sale paraphernalia and Jones' 1-year-old son, said Garrett.

The boy's mother, Ashley Garner, whose name is on the lease agreement with the complex, was not home.

Police charged Jones with possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug-sale paraphernalia and child endangerment.

He remained in the Lawrence County Jail on Monday. Bond had not been set.

The mother does not face charges in Town Creek, but was evicted from the apartment complex following Wednesday night's events.

A Department of Human Resources caseworker sent the child to live with relatives in Decatur, said Garrett.

"There were some other relatives (at the apartment complex), but the caseworker felt it would be better for the baby to be separated from the whole situation," he said.

The officers got lucky when they stumbled across the "heavy odor of marijuana" while serving the warrant, but Garrett said the drugs found in the home confirmed tips from residents living at the apartment complex.

"The Town Creek Police Department will continue to work closely with residents to clean up the area," said Garrett.

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