Nine Arrested On Drug Charges

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With the arrest of nine local residents, Payson police officers think they've severed one of the community's primary drug supply lines.

Acting on information from a concerned resident, six officers from the Payson Police Department's Special Response Team obtained a search warrant Tuesday and stormed an apartment on South Ash Street.

Inside, they found five adults who have allegedly been supplying drugs to local teens and four juveniles, all surrounded by marijuana and drug paraphernalia, Payson Police Lt. Don Engler said.

Eighteen-year-old Robert Samarrapas, who was carrying a .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun, initially ran from officers and tossed the gun into the garbage, Payson Police Officer Matt Van Camp said. Moments later, Samarrapas was caught and arrested along with 21-year-old Michael Samarrapas, Rita Alvarado, 19; Dena Pittman, 18; and James Finical, 18. Three 17-year-olds and a 16-year-old also were arrested.

Officers seized more than $1,200 in cash, 42 grams of marijuana and about 1/16 gram of methamphetamines.

"Because of citizens' involvement in this matter, we were able to make our case," Engler said. "When the community gets involved, this is the kind of thing we can do. With just a little piece of information, we were able to cultivate it from there."

The suspects were charged as follows:

Robert Samarrapas, 18 Possession of marijuana for sale, possession of marijuana, misconduct involving a weapon, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of dangerous drugs, and four counts of involving minors in a drug offense.

Michael Samarrapas, 21 Possession of marijuana for sale, possession of marijuana, possession of dangerous drugs, possession of dangerous drugs for sale, and four counts of involving minors in a drug offense.

Dena Marie Pittman, 18 Use of marijuana, use of a dangerous drug.

Rita Marie Alvarado, 19 Use of marijuana, use of a dangerous drug.

James Finical, 18 Use of marijuana, use of a dangerous drug.

17-year-old male Use of marijuana, use of a dangerous drug.

17-year-old male Use of marijuana, use of a dangerous drug.

17-year-old female Conspiracy to possess marijuana for sale.

16-year-old male Use of marijuana, use of a dangerous drug.

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