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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2005
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Morgan County drug roundup nets 6 arrests

By Seth Burkett
DAILY Staff Writer

sburkett@decaturdaily.com 340-2355

Morgan County narcotics agents went knocking on the doors of suspected drug offenders Monday, executing three search warrants and making six arrests, said Sheriff Greg Bartlett.

Bartlett said carrying out search warrants in quick succession sometimes catches criminals off guard.

"It's not real uncommon that we'll try to run them back to back," he said. "A lot of the time, drug dealers will hear one of their friends got arrested and will keep doing what they're doing, thinking they're OK."

During a search of 52B Betterton Drive in Danville, Drug Task Force agents found methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia, Bartlett said.

They arrested the resident, Stephen Lee Belmont, 31, and charged him with possession of meth, second-degree possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Three others present at Belmont's residence at the time of the raid face charges.

Agents arrested Derrick Franklin Maddox, 26, of Blankenship Road, Danville, charging him with possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Agents arrested and charged Michael Christopher Lacey, 20, of 270 Garrison Road, Hartselle, with possession of meth and second-degree possession of marijuana.

Agents also arrested James Ballinger, 38, of 57 Simmons Road, Hartselle, on a bench warrant for failure to pay on a third-degree forgery charge out of Lawrence County.

In another raid Monday, agents arrested Jonathon Dale Leverett, 24, at his home, 671A West Lacon Road, Falkville, and charged him with possession of meth, second-degree possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Agents also joined the Decatur police Organized Crime Unit in a raid on 1425 Danville Road S.W., where they found cocaine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a 9 mm handgun, Bartlett said.

The resident, Fabian Maurice Jones, 31, faces charges of first-degree possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Morgan County Jail released Belmont on Tuesday on $2,000 bond; the jail released Leverett on Monday on $2,000 bond; Maddox and Christopher remained in jail on $1,500 bond each; and Jones was released on Tuesday on $1,800 bond. Ballinger was transported to Lawrence County Jail and released Tuesday.

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