OMEGA -- Several months of undercover operations by the Omega Police Department resulted in five arrests Thursday and Friday and more arrests could follow.
"Since October, we've been working on buying from numerous dealers in the area," said Officer Tammy Britt of the OPD.
Since Britt joined the force in October, she has worked undercover attempting to reveal drug dealers in the Omega area. That work led to four arrests Thursday and one Friday, with seven unserved warrants remaining.
Thursday, Melissa Ann Bennett, 31, of Omega, was charged with possession, manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance. Shawntney Antwon Brown, 23, of Moultrie, was charged with two counts of possession, manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance. Michael Sherrod Kinsey, 21, of Moultrie, was charged with possession, manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance. Shwanda Lacarol Little, 25, of Omega, was charged with possession, manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance.
Friday, Charles Simmons, 19, of Tifton, was charged with sale of cocaine and sale of marijuana.
Well over eight ounces of marijuana, several rocks of crack cocaine, a few bags of powder cocaine, $155 and a 1997 Chrysler Sebring Coupe were recovered through the three-month investigation. OPD officers estimated the total street value of the confiscated items to be between $6,000 and $8,000.
Omega Police Chief Walt Young said the operation was an effort to help clean up the drug trade in the Omega area.
"It has just gotten out of hand," he said. "It needed to get rounded up."
He said the drug problem is not isolated to Omega, and is in every community, no matter the size.
"You've got a problem everywhere," he said.
The two largest drug busts Thursday came from telephone "deliveries" where Britt called a suspected drug dealer and ordered marijuana as if she were ordering pizza. Britt said she called Brown to order four ounces of pot, but he was not sure if he had the drugs. Then, another man, Kinsey, reportedly got on the phone and said he had what she wanted. Kinsey allegedly said he could deliver the marijuana to her.
OPD officers said that as Kinsey travelled to Omega from Colquitt County, he was stopped and arrested in a prearranged traffic stop. Officers discovered the four ounces of marijuana he was allegedly carrying and arrested him without incident.
Shortly afterward, Brown made another call to Britt. He reportedly told her he had the four ounces she had requested. Britt said Brown was also arrested as he travelled to Omega from Colquitt. Britt said officers discovered the four ounces of marijuana in Brown's possession.
OPD officers estimated that the marijuana would sell for $270 per ounce on the street.
Bennett and Little were arrested when search warrants of their residences led to the alleged discovery of marijuana. The warrants were obtained based on previous sales of drugs to undercover officers and informants from the residences. Another search warrant was served, but no contraband was found.
Simmons was arrested outside of Omega based on alleged previous drug sales. He was arrested with the help of the Tift County Sheriff's Office.
"I want to thank all those people for helping us," said Young. The chief thanked the sheriff's office, the Norman Park Police Department for the use of K-9 units, Tift County E-911 and the staff of the Omega City Hall. He commended his officers for a job well-done.
"It turned out a lot better than we thought it would," Young said. "Everything went smoothly."
The OPD officers said that although Britt would no longer be working undercover, they would be bringing more officers in to continue undercover investigation in Omega.
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