LEIGHTON — Authorities arrested two men, including one considered an “upper-level dealer,” on charges of selling various drugs, including a high-priced brand of methamphetamine called ice.
William “Airplane” Bates, 57, of Jarmon Cove, and Leroy “Cream” Hampton, 57, of Jarmon Trail, were arrested, said Curtis Burns, director of the Colbert County Drug Task Force.
The men are in Colbert County Jail on felony charges of selling drugs near a school, authorities said. In addition, Bates faces three possession-related charges.
“We had an operation that’s been ongoing for several months, and we made some controlled buys off of Jarmon Lane on a road called Park Place,” Burns said. “This is one of our high-volume drug areas. We have bought ice, which is very, very unusual for that area, and also bought crack.”
Burns said meth and crack generally sell for about $100 a gram, but ice goes at $180 a gram.
“This is the highest grade of meth,” he said. “This was not meth that was made around here.”
Authorities raided a residence at 110 Park Place on Tuesday and arrested Bates, who has served prison time for previous drug-related cases, Burns said.
In addition, they arrested Sherita Abernathy, who was at the residence, Burns said. She had been wanted on an unrelated felony burglary warrant.
“When we pulled up, there were several subjects at the location,” he said. “Our search was conducted around a trailer and surrounding areas that included abandoned vehicles.”
Burns said $500 in crack cocaine was found in an unmarked prescription bottle in a garbage can near Bates. He said Bates is accused of trying to hide the bottle in the can.
Outside, Hampton was near an abandoned pickup where a bottle containing crack was found, Burns said.
“We also found a lot of drug paraphernalia, including pipes and scales,” he said. “We also found illegal prescriptions pills and marijuana, and one unclaimed rifle was found in an abandoned car.”
Authorities have additional distribution warrants on other suspects and are searching for them, Burns said.
A search warrant was served Tuesday on a residence on First Street in Leighton, and drug paraphernalia and a small amount of marijuana were found, Burns said. Some guns also were seized. No arrests have been made in that case.
Burns said Bates is a major arrest.
“We consider him an upper-level dealer,” he said.
Leighton police, Colbert County sheriff’s deputies and state Alcoholic Beverage Control agents assisted in the operation, Burns said.
“We’ll continue to work that area, because they are not the only ones dealing there,” he said. “The public also helped in the case, and we were glad to be able to get these dealers off the street and some additional drugs off the street.”
Bernie Delinski can be reached at 256-740-5739 or bernie.delinski@TimesDaily.com.