Covington-Newton County Special Investigation Unit forces struck a known Covington drug haven Friday afternoon, arresting five people in connection with using or selling cocaine and marijuana.
Sederick O'Neil Bolden, 27, Scott Benton, 62, Clarence Benton, 53, Curtis Green, 57, and Michael Wright, 47, all from Covington, were arrested at 5172 Avery St. shortly after 2 p.m. by a combined team of 13 members of the Covington-Newton County SIU and the Covington Police Department.
The small, ramshackle green building on Avery Street was known as a "trap house," or a location where drug dealers take advantage of elderly people addicted to crack cocaine, said SIU Lt. Philip Bradford.
The renter of the building, Scott Benton, allegedly allowed dealers to use his residence to sell drugs, which would be consumed on location, according to Bradford.
There might be eight to 10 people crowded into the bedroom of the tiny 600 to 800 square foot building for that purpose.
The CPD had been receiving many complaints about the drug traffic at the residence, said Bradford. The Criminal Investigations Unit, which had seen increased criminal activity related to the house, began investigating about six weeks ago and conducting controlled purchases.
In Friday's strike, Bolden, who reportedly attempted to flee out the back bedroom while jettisoning a large amount of crack cocaine in his possession, was found with digital scales, a tool commonly used by drug sellers, and charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana. Bolden had been previously arrested about two blocks from the Avery Street house in March 2007 for similar charges, said Bradford. Bolden had been out on bond while that case was in court but had his bond revoked from the new evidence found in the search.
"Sederick will not be selling any more drugs prior to the deposition of these trials," said Bradford.
Scott Benton, Clarence Benton, Green and Wright were charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana because of crack pipes, residue and bags of crack found on their persons. The marijuana was found laid out nearby in the house and charged to all the occupants.
"Our main goal was to clear up a bad spot so all the neighbors will have a little peace now," said Bradford.
The neighborhood had been a drug haven in the past, he said, but last summer SIU had made a number of drug arrests.
"This is an old, established neighborhood," he said. "There are more good people in that area. We made the commitment, and are still committed," he said. "If you want to sell drugs, you'd better go elsewhere, because we are not going to stand idly by and let that happen."