COVINGTON - Police Chief Stacey Cotton received complaints from a concerned resident that drug and prostitution activities were taking place in the area of South Emory Street and Lunsford Circle and assigned his officers to find out what was going on.
"The concerned citizen named a person as being involved and Chief Cotton went ahead and asked Officer (Ryan) Ralston to investigate, focusing on the areas of what we call Happy Hollow and Harristown and focusing on that particular person," Lt. Wendell Wagstaff said.
Following an undercover "sting" operation Saturday night in the area of South Emory Street and Washington Street, Willie Lamar Avery, 44, of 3116 Fowler St., was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine and probation violation.
According to an incident report completed by Ralston, about 10 p.m. he and Officer Michael Bailey drove through the area in an unmarked Chevrolet pickup. They had the windows down and were wearing plain clothes when they spotted Avery standing on the sidewalk talking to another man.
"Upon seeing Officer Ralston and Officer Bailey driving into Harristown, Avery began shouting and waving his arms ... as if attempting to flag them down," the report states. "Officer Ralston turned the truck around and drove back toward where Avery was standing. ... Officer Ralston slowed the truck and stopped on South Emory Street at its intersection with Washington Street. Avery immediately asked Officer Ralston, 'What do you need?'"
Ralston replied using street slang and told him he needed, "Hard," which means crack cocaine.
"Avery then said, 'All right, let me get in the truck,'" the report states.
Rather than allow Avery into the vehicle with them, the officers identified themselves, to which Avery uttered an expletive and fled on foot, the report states.
After a short foot chase, Avery was apprehended and a search revealed an aluminum pipe containing burnt Brillo and an off-white substance suspected to be crack cocaine.
In other crime news, a Newton County Sheriff's Office deputy patrolling in the area of Ga. Highway 11 North saw a white SUV with its motor running parked in the parking lot of a closed service station.
He investigated and found two people asleep in the vehicle, according to an incident report completed by Deputy Timothy Dickerson.
"I attempted to make contact with them by knocking on the front passenger window, but neither occupant moved," he said. "I moved to the driver's side of the vehicle and observed a glass smoking device commonly used to smoke methamphetamine in plain view on the driver's seat."
The deputy called for backup and then both deputies began knocking on the windows.
Finally, the person in the backseat uncovered her head and looked up and the deputies asked her to step outside the vehicle. While she was doing this, the person in the front seat woke up and was also asked to get out of the vehicle.
The woman in the back was later identified as Kalie Nicole Osier, 20, of 605 Mountain Creek Road. As she exited the vehicle, the deputy reported noticing "a small plastic bag under her right foot. I asked her to take a step to her left. When Ms. Osier moved, I observed the bag contained two pills, one green and one an off-white color."
Dickerson described the pills as "a maple leaf on the green one and a Playboy bunny on the off-white one which is commonly found on Ecstasy."
As deputies searched the vehicle, Dickerson reported the following: "In the front passenger floorboard, we located a small blue bag with another small bag inside with Superman emblems on it, a Marlboro cigarette box containing two clear plastic bags containing a crystal-like substance believed to be methamphetamine and a tin containing a small spoon, 43 small blue plastic bags, two small clear plastic bags with 15 small bags with Superman emblems on them. On the front passenger seat I found a digital scale. Inside a cup holder in the front of the vehicle I found a green smoking device containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana."
The front seat passenger was identified as Dewayne Lee Hendrix, 21, also of the Mountain Creek Road address.
Both were arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of Ecstasy and possession of drug-related objects.
Also, the NCSO reports that Chapman's Grocery, at 5590 Ga. Highway 81 S., was burglarized about 2:30 a.m. on March 16.
The deputy answering the alarm call said a cement brick had been thrown through the front door and he noticed several cartons of cigarettes lying on the floor behind the counter.
When the owner arrived, he said approximately 83 cartons of Winston and Doral cigarettes were missing. They were valued at $3,000.