3 Searches Net 5 Arrests For Drugs

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An eight-month investigation into the use and sale of dangerous drugs culminated in three searches and five arrests Jan. 10 and 11.

More arrests are expected, according to Lt. Don Engler of the Payson Police Department.

The first search of the evening was at about 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 10 at a residence on Dukes Road in Mesa del Caballo.

Evidence was impounded, but no arrests were made, Engler said.

Later, at about 9:45 p.m., a second search was conducted at a residence on East Saguaro Circle. Arrested were Katherine Bennett, 44, Payson, and Shannon Green, 32, Payson.

Engler said Bennett was arrested for possession of dangerous drugs for sale, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana.

Green was arrested for possession of dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Bennett told the Roundup the granular material found and confiscated is only bath salts she uses to soak her injured foot, suffered in an accident 10 years ago.

"They tore my house apart. They took 20-year-old magazines. A half-ounce of marijuana, that's all they found," she said, adding she uses the marijuana for pain management instead of commercial medications.

Bennett said the police only made an arrest; no complaint with charges has been filed against her yet.

The third search was made at about 1:45 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 11 in the 200 block of West Main Street, Engler said. Arrested were: John Barrow, 34, Payson, for possession of drug paraphernalia and use of marijuana; James Seay, 40, Payson, for possession of dangerous drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia; and Christine Lee, 32, Payson, for possession and use of dangerous drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Engler said about 12 grams of methamphetamine was confiscated in the three searches. The searches and subsequent arrests were somewhat loosely tied together, he said.

Over the course of the eight-month investigation, 14 of the police department's 28 officers were involved, either doing surveillance or the actual entries and searches.

"It took a tremendous amount of manpower and hours to put this together," Engler said.

He said investigations like this are generated from a variety of sources, but most often it is a call from a resident reporting an unusual volume of traffic at a neighboring residence.

"So, we encourage these calls," Engler said.

To report suspicious activity in your neighborhood, contact Payson police at 474-5177.

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