Niles Police net five drug arrests

By By JAN GRIFFEY
Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Niles City Police made five drug-related arrests and confiscated more than $5,250 in illegal narcotics on Wednesday night in the northside neighborhood area of Niles.
The arrests and seizure of the illegal drugs were the result of an investigation by the city's drug enforcement task force, which consists of officers who have additional training and experience in narcotics arrests.
The task force, known as Operation BLUNT (Busting Local Users and Narcotic Traffickers) has been at work here since 1999.
Niles City Police Chief Ric Huff said Thursday afternoon the arrests, and the task force's operation Wednesday night, were in part a result of complaints made by northside neighborhood residents at a recent Niles City Council meeting.
Arrests Wednesday night included:
Niles Police said Hatcher's arrest was the result of contact with police when she was sitting on the porch of 401 N. Fifth St. Police said Hatcher told them she did not live in the area and provided her name. A computer check revealed the two outstanding warrants.
Coleman's arrested was the result of contact with police while he was walking in the area of North Sixth and Eagle streets. As police approached Coleman, he pushed a bag into the waistband of his pants. A computer check revealed an outstanding warrant for him from the Friend of the Court and a subsequent search revealed the bag contained powder cocaine, police said.
The arrests of Hunter and Ball were the result of police smelling the odor of marijuana coming from 1219 N. Fifth St., Niles. Police made contact with the two, who allowed them into the residence. Both consented to a search, which resulted in the recovery of marijuana and crack cocaine, police said.
A search warrant was requested and authorized for the residence. Further searching revealed additional crack cocaine and suspected Ecstasy, a synthetic drug.
Because of the amount of narcotics recovered and other evidence, this house appears to have been a significant supplier of narcotics in the area, Niles police said.
Huff said these investigations led to the confiscation of about 100 grams of crack cocaine, 19,5 grams of marijuana, .07 grams of powder cocaine, and 30 Ecstasy pills with a combined street value of about $5,250.
Huff said the city police department's focus on the northside neighborhood will continue.

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