DeKalb County, Ala., bust targets prescription drugs

DeKalb County, Ala., bust targets prescription drugs

June 6th, 2013 by Tyler Jett in Local Regional News

WANTED IN DEKALB

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office has issued warrants for the following people:

• Stacy Johnson Rayborn

• Samuel Salizan Rivera

• William James McElrath

• Wendy Gorham

• Robert Chad Hall

• Nikki Nicole Richter

• Michael Eric Kelley

• Christopher Dale Holcomb

• Kathy Gass Clure

• Jared Farmer

• Lewis Ramsey

• Casey Lee Cryer

• Jennifer Suzanne Harris

• Michael Shane Dunn

• Melissa Sue Lancaster

• Stuart Kennedy

• Demetrius Jermaine Neal

• Staci Stiefel

• Ricky Brian Phillips

• Kimberly Denise Anderson

• Gloria Jean Patterson

• Kelli Marie McManus

• Denise Ivey Stephens

• Christy Hudgens Taylor

• Don Wayne Mitchell

• Reginald Bruce Nixon

• Darak Health Dean

• Patrick Lee Rogers

• Mark Allen Norris

• Lisa Renee Toti

• Judy Lee Slaton

• Tommy Dustin Burt

• Jennifer Waldrop

The DeKalb County, Ala., Sheriff's Office arrested 20 people Wednesday for drug-related crimes, and law enforcement officers said that number might rise later this week.

Fort Payne Police Chief Randy Bynum, a board member of the DeKalb County Drug Task Force, said officers have investigated alleged dealers for about six months, buying illegal drugs undercover.

In particular, Bynum said, officers have targeted the illegal use of prescription drugs. People have misused medicine more this year than in the past, he said.

"Not all of it is going to be the methamphetamine and marijuana and things like that," Bynum said. "A lot of it is pills."

In a news release, Sheriff Jimmy Harris said Wednesday's series of arrests is the first phase of the investigation. In all, the department released 33 names of people whom they have either arrested or will arrest in coming days.

"Today's roundup is merely a step in the process, and the investigation will continue," Harris said in the release.

The sheriff could not be reached Wednesday afternoon for further comment about what the next step in the investigation is, and about how many total steps he has planned.

Bynum, Harris and District Attorney Michael O'Dell met earlier this week to discuss purchasing a machine that can test drug content. Bynum said the district attorney can use the machine to bring cases to trial at a faster rate.

Right now, Bynum said, the district attorney cannot bring an arrested drug dealer to trial until the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences tests the narcotics.

"Labs are behind," he said. "Sometimes it takes as long as 18 months to get results back."

Bynum could not remember Wednesday what the machine was called, or how much it would cost the county. He said O'Dell knows the most about the equipment.

O'Dell could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Contact Tyler Jett at tjett@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6476.