November 22, 2009

Nine Face Charges In Vernon Drug Sweep --

Nine Face Charges In Vernon Drug Sweep --

Nine Face Charges In Vernon Drug Sweep
The Hartford Courant

7:21 PM EST, November 17, 2009

VERNON - Nine people are in police custody and 23 pounds of marijuana have been recovered in a crackdown against illegal drug dealing in the town.

Members of a regional task force and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency intercepted a package containing 23 pounds of marijuana that was on its way to 85 Old Town Road unit 21 Friday. They removed the drug from the package and replaced it with other contents, then sent it to the address, police said.

A man, later identified as Lance Roberts, took the package and put it in a car driven by another man. At a different residence, Roberts transferred the package to his own car and took it back to his Tolland home. There, police arrested him without incident.

A search of his Hurlbut Street home turned up marijuana, illegal prescription pills and evidence of marijuana trafficking. Three cars were also seized during the investigation.

Roberts, 57, faces charges including criminal attempt to possess more than a kilo of marijuana, criminal attempt to possess marijuana with intent to sell, criminal attempt to possess drugs in a school zone, possession of narcotics and possession of marijuana.

Police expect more arrests in that case.

A separate investigation on Tuesday yielded eight more arrests.

Members of the East Central Narcotics Task Force and the Vernon Police Department served two search warrants at the Park West Apartments in Vernon. One of the warrants targeted an alleged marijuana dealer, Raymond Walker. Walker wasn't home, but police tracked him down at the Quality Inn on Hartford Turnpike in Vernon.

The second warrant targeted an alleged crack cocaine dealer identified as Ty-Juan Simmons. Simmons and his girlfriend, Deborah Hayes, were taken into custody without incident. Police found crack cocaine, drug packaging materials and drug paraphernalia in their home.

Walker, 45, faces a lengthy list of charges, including sale of marijuana, sale of the drug within 1,500 feet of public housing and multiple counts of possession and conspiracy. Simmons, 21, is charged with sale of crack cocaine, sale of the drug within 1,500 feet of public housing and six counts of possession. Hayes is charged with possession of crack cocaine and possession of the drug within 1,500 feet of public housing.
Three Rockville High School students were arrested the same day for alleged drug offenses that occurred off school grounds, police said. A 17-year-old male student was charged with operating a drug factory, sale of marijuana and several counts of possession. A 16-year-old male student faces charges of sale and possession of marijuana. Neither were identified because of their ages.
The third student, 18-year-old Jason Ciampa, is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Officers also arrested Roger Blouin, 49, and Donell Penrice, 22, on Tuesday. Blouin, who was taken into custody at his 59 High St., Apt. 1 in Vernon, faces charges of sale and possession of crack cocaine, as well as possession of drug paraphernalia. Penrice, who was arrested at his Oak Street apartment, is charged with sale and possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
-- Jenna Carlesso

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