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Couple busted for marijuana

Thursday, August 11, 2005

A married couple's alleged attempt to buy and sell quantities of marijuana in Salem July 29 was thwarted by officers from the 16th Judicial District Drug Task Force and the Fulton County Sheriff's Department.

Randy Matthew Price, 23, and Rhealene Ann Price, 29, have each been charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, with intent to deliver, and possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to use, both class C felonies.

Investigator Brian Sanderson with the 16th Judicial District Drug Task Force said he was informed by an undercover informant that the Prices were going to buy a quantity of marijuana and sell it in Salem.

Sanderson said he followed the Prices all the way to Jacksonville July 29. After arriving in Jacksonville, Sanderson stopped following the teal-green Pontiac Sunfire being driven by Rhealene Price.

He said he then called the Fulton County Sheriff's Department and told them to be on the lookout for the Pontiac Sunfire after it returned to Fulton County.

Sanderson said at approximately 11 p.m. deputy Jason Martin with the Fulton County Sheriff's Department called and told him deputies from the sheriff's department had stopped the Sunfire and arrested the Prices.

According to the arrest affidavit officers found two plastic baggies containing a green vegetable material, one set of postal scales, one homemade smoking device with residue and one pack of rolling papers.

The Prices were released after they each posted a $5,000 bond. They are slated to appear in Fulton County Circuit Court Aug. 17.

A Dolph man may face federal drug charges after a raid at his Dolph residence by officers from the 16th Judicial District Drug Task Force, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Izard County Sheriff's Department and Arkansas State Police.

Jimmy T. Freeman, 42, has been charged with manufacturing a controlled substance, marijuana, a class C felony.

Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence said investigators collected 138 marijuana plants from Freeman's property near Dolph.

"Because of the number of marijuana plants we found at the location we're looking at pursuing federal charges," Lawrence said.

According to the arrest affidavit, Cpl. Andy Wiley of the Arkansas State Police was conducting an aerial search from a helicopter July 28 over Freeman's home.

During the search Wiley said he noticed several marijuana plants growing in a cultivated area on Freeman's property.

Eleven marijuana plants were found within 126 yards of Freeman's residence after a subsequent raid of his property, said Drug Task Force investigator Brian Sanderson. Other plants were discovered at the end of numerous trails on the property, Sanderson said.

Freeman posted a $2,500 bond the next day.

It may be several weeks before federal charges, if any, are filed in this case, Lawrence said.

He said over the next several weeks law enforcement officials will be using aerial surveillance equipment to detect marijuana growing operations in Izard County.

Lawrence said investigators will target county hot spots for illegal drug activity.

He said this year law enforcement officers will conduct more flyovers than in recent years, but will cut down on the length of each trip to save money and time.

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