18 stung in police raid

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 2, 2002

Sixteen people were charged with more than two dozen misdemeanors and felony charges during a recent three-day sting operation in the Williamstown community.

The charges – most of which were drug-related – were lodged against people arrested from Sept. 20-22, said Officer Michael E. Simpkins, spokesman for the Suffolk Police Department. The department did not release the information to the media until Tuesday.

Williamstown is about five blocks along South Broad, including 1st, 2nd, and 3rd avenues and Bute Street.

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People charged include: Welton Williams, 48, attempt to possess cocaine; Ralph White, 61, attempt to possession cocaine; Rodney Smith, 20, attempt to possess cocaine; Melissa Jenkins, 32, attempt to possess cocaine and possession of marijuana; Corey Mitchell, 25, attempt to possess cocaine and possession of cocaine; Sherby White, 45, failure to appear on suspended operator’s license; Melvin Harden, 20, domestic assault, destruction of property and trespassing; Vanshawn Rogers, 18, possession with intent to distribute cocaine; and Edward Wilson, 23, failure to appear on child support and marijuana charges.

Others charged include: Leea Dawn Stickels, 35, attempt to possess cocaine; Tyran Holmes, 25, distribution of cocaine and PB-15; Rasheed Davis, 19, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, and possession of title to another person’s vehicle; Tanji Wiggins, 23, possession of marijuana; and Eric Brantley, 23, no operator’s license and defective equipment.

Four juveniles were also arrested, Simpkins said.

The sting, which took about two months of planning, marks the first time that uniformed patrol officers initiated such a community intervention program, said Simpkins. The officers became increasingly frustrated because they were constantly receiving calls from that community.

Representatives from the department’s special investigations and criminal investigations helped the patrol division with the sting, Simpkins said.

From June 1 to Sept. 30, the department has received a number of calls that law enforcement say is indicative of drug-related issues, Simpkins said. For example, authorities responded to 15 loud music complaints; 18 reports of people carrying a gun; 10 narcotics violations; and 34 reports of suspicious persons.

The police department wants to help law-abiding residents regain control of their neighborhood.

&uot;The area already has a civic league,&uot; said Simpkins. &uot;We are here to assist in any way we can.

&uot;We want to encourage people to keep calling. It’s their neighborhoods and houses. We can’t do any of this without help from citizens.&uot;