3 arrested after record heroin bust in Etowah County


L to R: Antonius Duane Porter, 23; Oderion Devonta Smith, 22; Deontriez Lewon Woods, 23. (Source: Etowah County Detention Center)

ETOWAH COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -Three people have arrested in Etowah County in what Sheriff Todd Entrekin calls the biggest heroin bust he's seen in nearly 30 years.

Entrekin says the county's Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) had been investigating three men for a month for drug trafficking, and on June 7 police pulled over a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu in which they were all riding. Entrekin says the car left Georgia and was coming into Etowah County on Highway 278.

One of the men, 23-year-old Antonius Duane Porter of Anniston, gave permission to search the vehicle. Drug agents found six ounces of black-tar heroin, five ounces of marijuana and a Glock 17 handgun. The gun was found near the driver's side of the car. Agents estimate the drugs to be worth up to $25,000.

Porter is charged with felony counts of drug trafficking, one count of first-degree unlawful possession of marijuana, and a misdemeanor count of carrying a pistol without a permit.

Drug agents say Porter is the main target of their investigation and made at least two trips to Georgia to bring heroin back for distribution. They are still trying to find who was supposed to receive it.

"We know that at different times, he's made trips to Georgia, and has brought heroin back several times in the past," DEU Deputy Commander Phil Sims said at a Monday morning news conference.

"Six ounces. I haven't seen that much heroin in this county since the 80s. The late 70s and 80s is the last time I can find that this kind of heroin was ever seized in this county," added Entrekin.

He then went on to call for legislation abolishing sentencing guidelines so more offenders will end up in prison.

"Folks, we've got to do something. We're losing folks every day," said Entrekin.

The other two men were arrested after a second car was stopped, this time a 1984 Buick Regal. Agents detected a strong marijuana smell, and the two admitted they were smoking marijuana on their way back from Georgia. After the men got out of the car, deputies say an agent noticed two bags of salvia that fell out of the pants pocket of one of the men, totaling one ounce of the drug. Both men were transported to the DEU for questioning.

The two men are Oderion Devonta Smith, 22, and Deontriez Lewon Woods, 23, both charged with a felony count of drug trafficking. Woods is also charged with one count of possession of salvia, also a felony.

Entrekin reminded reporters how often he's mentioned heroin and subsequent overdoses in various news conferences. He reminded reporters that his sheriff's office is among the first, if not the first, to require its deputies to keep Narcan in the glove compartments of their sheriff's vehicles.

The Etowah County Detention Center website also shows a possible theft of property charge against Smith, but it's not known how that is connected to this case.

All three men are being held in the Etowah County Detention Center on $100,000 bond each.

Article from:- http://www.wbrc.com

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