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DCSO apprehends wanted fugitive

Last night (September 20, 2019) at approximately 2 am, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics and Criminal Interdiction Unit apprehended a fugitive who was wanted in Missouri on several outstanding warrants. The Collinsville Police Department also was on scene to assist with the arrest.

The woman was being pursued by Leland Chapman’s Fugitive Recovery Service.

Chapman is the son of famed bounty hunter, Dog Chapman. Leland Chapman and his team had traced the fugitive to the Northeast Alabama area recently, and bounty hunters as well as investigators had been on the hunt in both Jackson and DeKalb Counties over the last two weeks.

The hunt came to a conclusion last night in Collinsville as agents, deputies, and the Collinsville Police Department took Britnay Kernell (32) into custody at the Traveler’s Inn near I-59.

Britnay Kernell (32)

While apprehending the fugitive, deputies and agents found methamphetamine, earning Kernell new charges in DeKalb County of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Kernell had existing warrants in St. Charles, Missouri of Possession of a Controlled Substance over 35 grams, Possession of a Controlled Substance (2x), and Possession of Synthetic Marijuana (2x).

Kernell also had warrants in Jackson County and with the Fyffe Police Department at the time of her arrest.

Leland Chapman said of the capture: “I’d like to thank all of the people that helped us last night. If it wasn’t for law enforcement we wouldn’t be able to get her in custody. That was the most important thing, is the coordination between all of the law enforcement officials and agencies. She was definitely on a crime spree. This manhunt and her crime spree spanned several states.”

DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said: “We’re happy to help bring a wanted fugitive to justice. Especially when this person is busy committing new crimes in our area. DeKalb County is no place to hide for criminals.”

“I’d like to thank our deputies, agents, the Collinsville Police Department, and the Leland Chandler Fugitive Recovery Agency for helping with this apprehension,” he said.

“God Bless!” Concluded Sheriff Welden.

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24 Pounds of Meth Seized in Fort Payne

Last Thursday, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics and Interdiction team assisted with the seizure of 24 pounds of methamphetamine on Highway 35 in Fort Payne.

Investigators with the Madison County Sheriff Department Narcotics Unit completed a six month investigation into the trafficking of large amounts of “Ice” into the North Alabama area.

Investigators were assisted by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Narcotics/ Criminal Interdiction Unit, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office as well as Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Special Agents.

The DeKalb County Interdiction team conducted a traffic stop on Anthony Guthrie (50 of Scottboro) as he was leaving the Fort Payne area. A DeKalb County K-9 unit conducted a search outside of the vehicle at which time the K-9 alerted on the rear compartment of the vehicle.

Agents then located a cooler in the vehicle which contained approximately 24 pounds of “Ice” (pure, crystalized methamphetamine). Investigators also arrested David Jose Topete (49 of Tijuana, Mexico) nearby at a hotel in Fort Payne in connection to the narcotics.

Anthony Guthrie (50 of Scottboro) David Jose Topete (49 of Tijuana, Mexico)

Both Guthrie and Topete were charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine and placed in the DeKalb County Detention Center on a $1,000,000.00 bond. Federal agents were notified and other drug charges are pending. The investigation continues and more arrests are possible.

DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said of the operation: “We were thrilled to be a part of this operation and take such a large amount of Methamphetamine off the streets. 24 pounds of this poison is enough to get a lot of people hooked and destroy a lot of lives.”

“The value of this amount could reach up to $150,000 and we have reason to believe it was to be distributed in our area. I’d like to thank our agents, the ALEA Task Force, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office for their commitment to stopping these dangerous drugs from reaching our communities.

“God Bless!” Concluded Sheriff Welden.

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16 year old Arrested for Meth Trafficking

Wednesday, agents with the DeKalb Co. Narcotics and Interdiction Unit arrested a 16 year old for trafficking in methamphetamine after a chase.

Agents along with the Mentone Police Department, were on Alabama Highway 117 near Mentone. While there, officers observed a vehicle that committed multiple traffic infractions.

Agents and officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop. At that time the vehicle fled from officers, resulting in a 5 minute pursuit.

After detaining the two suspects, agents continued a search of the area, and found a large amount of methamphetamine that was thrown from the vehicle, as well as a Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun. A meth pipe was also found on the passenger.

Megan Palmer (18 of Summerville, Georgia)

The driver, Megan Palmer (18 of Summerville, Georgia) was charged with Attempting to Elude, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Reckless Endangerment.

Lanson Smith (16 of Cloudland, Georgia)

The passenger, Lanson Smith (16 of Cloudland, Georgia) was charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Possession of a Firearm without a Permit, Tampering with Physical Evidence, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Both were transported to the DeKalb County Detention Center. Smith will be charged as an adult due to it being a Class A Felony.

DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said of the arrest: “Our Narcotics and Criminal Interdiction Unit did a great job in apprehending these criminals. Quick thinking on their part and on the part of the Mentone Police Department helped resolve this situation before any innocent people were hurt.”

“It’s unfortunate that young lives have to be wasted due to dangerous drugs, but trafficking in this poison will not be tolerated, no matter what the age of the offender. If you want to commit adult crimes, we will be glad to treat you like an adult,” said the Sheriff.

“I’d like to give thanks to the Mentone Police Department for closely working with our guys to apprehend the suspects,” he said.

“God Bless,” concluded Sheriff Welden.

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Man in custody for Preschool Air Conditioning theft

Charles Ray Ledon Wilbanks (39 of Fort Payne)

A man is in custody for allegedly stealing air conditioning units from a preschool in Henagar.

The theft took place around 3 am on August 21, 2019. The units were taken from the Busy Bees Preschool on Highway 75 in Henagar. The suspect is also thought to be responsible for another theft at DeSoto State Park.

An investigator with the Henagar Police Department took the lead on the investigation with the assistance of investigators with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office. Witnesses gave a description of a suspect and vehicle that was in the area at the time of both thefts.

Investigators learned that a suspect and vehicle matching the description was pulled over by the Sylvania Police Department in the area. The suspect currently lives near Rome, Georgia and after checking with several scrap yards in the area, it was discovered he had sold a large number of air conditioning components recently.

Shortly after obtaining a warrant for his arrest, a scrap yard notified investigators that the suspect had arrived to sell more air conditioning parts. The Rome Police Department was notified, and quickly made the arrest.

Charles Ray Ledon Wilbanks (39 of Fort Payne) was arrested on a warrant for Theft of Property, 1st Degree.

Wilbanks’ wife, Wendy Wilbanks (42 of Fort Payne) was also arrested on an outstanding felony warrant in DeKalb County for Failure to Comply.  

Wendy Wilbanks (42 of Fort Payne)

Both are currently in the Floyd County Jail awaiting extradition to the DeKalb County Detention Center.

DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said of the arrest: “I’d like to congratulate our investigators on another job well done. The close cooperation among local agencies was essential in closing this case. One of our goals at the sheriff’s office has been to foster a good working relationship with our fellow agencies.”

“A good working relationship is essential to closing these cases, as many criminals commit thefts away from where they live to hopefully fly under the radar. That didn’t work out for them in this case,” said the sheriff.

“I’d also like to thank the Rome Police Department who quickly moved to make an arrest before they could steal again. It’s a shame they would choose to leave small children without air conditioning on these hot days,” he said.

“God Bless,” concluded Sheriff Welden.

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Deputies assist Collinsville PD with Saturation

On Thursday night, Deputies and Agents with the Sheriff’s Office Narcotics and Criminal Interdiction Unit assisted the Collinsville Police Department with a saturation operation in the city limits of Collinsville.

Deputies wrote numerous traffic citations and warnings on the roadways as a result of traffic stops. Nine were also arrested after several narcotics related complaints from citizens were investigated.

At a residence on Gregory Avenue, seven were arrested after Methamphetamine, Marijuana, and Drug Paraphernalia was found. Several at the residence also had outstanding warrants.

Those arrested on Gregory Avenue were:

- John Orr (53 of Collinsville)

- Unlawful Poss. Of Controlled Substance (x2)

- Unlawful Poss. Of Drug Paraphernalia

- Michael Plunkett (33 of Fort Payne)

- Unlawful Poss. Of Controlled Substance

- Unlawful Poss. Of Drug Paraphernalia

- Outstanding Warrant

- Off Bond

- A.W. Dupree (61 of Collinsville)

- Unlawful Poss. Of Controlled Substance

- Unlawful Poss. Of Drug Paraphernalia

- Outstanding Warrant

- Melford Bowers (67 of Collinsville)

- Unlawful Poss. Of Controlled Substance (x3)

- Unlawful Poss. Of Drug Paraphernalia

- Unlawful Possession of Prohibited Beverage

- Outstanding Warrant

- Williams Larwance (39 of Collinsville)

- Possession of Controlled Substance

- Unlawful Poss. Of Drug Paraphernalia

- Alias Writ of Arrest

- Stephanie Solis (31 of Collinsville)

- Failure to Appear Warrant

- Unlawful Poss. Of Controlled Substance

- Unlawful Poss. Of Drug Paraphernalia

- Outstanding Warrant

- Amber Bradshaw (23 of Collinsville)

- Unlawful Poss. Of Controlled Substance

- Possession of Marijuana 2nd

- Drug Paraphernalia

At another residence on Truman Lane, Jamie Osborne (63 of Collinsville) was arrested on charges of Unlawful Poss. Of Controlled Substance, Possession of Marijuana 2nd Degree, and Drug Paraphernalia.

Kimberly Daniel (51 of Collinsville) was also arrested at the residence on Wednesday night.

Jamie Osborne (63 of Collinsville) Kimberly Daniel (51 of Collinsville)

In a separate operation on Wednesday night, the Sheriff’s Office Narcotics and Criminal Interdiction Unit conducted a search at a residence on Williams Avenue in Fort Payne with assistance of the Fort Payne Police Department.

Anthony Burt (51 of Fort Payne) and Rebecca Bevel (58 of Fort Payne) were arrested on several charges after methamphetamine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia were found. Multiple firearms were also seized at the residence.

Bevel was charged with Distribution of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Marijuana 2nd, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Drug Paraphernalia. Burt was charged with Distribution of a Controlled Substance, Possession of a Controlled Substance, And Drug Paraphernalia.

Anthony Burt (51 of Fort Payne) Rebecca Bevel (58 of Fort Payne)

DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said of the operation: “One important role of the Sheriff’s Office is to assist our partner agencies with combatting the drug problem in our county. We’re more than happy to help take this poison off the streets throughout the entire county.”

“Especially in cases such as Gregory Avenue in Collinsville. The residence was a short distance away from a park where children of the neighborhood play. Many good people live in the area, and shouldn’t have to raise their children around that,” said Sheriff Welden.

“God Bless!” Concluded Sheriff Welden.

Collinsville Police Chief Rex Leath said of the operation: “Thursday night’s arrests were by excellent teamwork from the two agencies. I would like to thank Sheriff Nick Welden and the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office. Without them Thursday night’s drug saturation would not have been possible.”

“We are in the fight against drugs day in and day out in Collinsville and across DeKalb County; as well as across the State of Alabama. When departments pull resources together, we can chisel away at the drug problem that is destroying families and lives in our county,” said Chief Leath.

“Most importantly, if you see something, say something! Together we can make a difference, and make DeKalb County a safe place for our children,” he concluded.

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Arrests made regarding Fire at Mike's Tire

Two suspects are in custody regarding the fire at Mike’s Tire in Crossville last week.

The two were caught on surveillance camera attempting to steal gasoline at approximately 3:30 am last Tuesday morning at Mike’s Tire on Highway 227. The vehicle ignited while one of the offenders was attempting to drill a hole in the gas tank.

The fire burned 5 vehicles and one of the buildings at the business; causing approximately $150,000 worth of damage.

Chris Ennis (21 of Gadsden)

Chris Ennis (21 of Gadsden) was officially charged today with Criminal Mischief 1st Degree and Arson 3rd Degree.

Ennis was already in custody on charges of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Controlled Substance, Attempting to Elude, Failure to Comply, and a Probation Violation. Ennis had led the Crossville Police Department and a Deputy with DeKalb Co. Sheriff’s Office on a foot pursuit in Crossville last Friday in an unrelated incident.

Drew Tidwell (19 of Albertville)

The other suspect, Drew Tidwell (19 of Albertville) was taken into custody late this afternoon by investigators. Tidwell is charged with Criminal Mischief 1st Degree and Arson 3rd Degree.

DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said of the arrest: “I’d like to congratulate our investigators on a job well done in closing this case. These guys have worked hard on it since the incident occurred last week.”

“I’d also like to thank the public for sharing the video and helping us develop leads in the case. Tips directly helped with charging the suspects with this crime. If this business and another nearby business did not have a surveillance system, this would have been a much more difficult case.” Explained Sheriff Welden.  

“This also needs to be a lesson to our younger people. In this case, attempting to commit a small crime turned into a much larger one. These suspects will be facing major consequences for their actions,” he said.

“God Bless!” Concluded Sheriff Welden.

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Wanted fugitive Billy Blake taken into custody Friday night

Billy Edward Blake (42 of Fort Payne). 

Friday night, deputies and agents with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics and Criminal Interdiction Unit apprehended fugitive Billy Blake (42 of Fort Payne).  

Blake was taken into custody after he led deputies on a brief pursuit in a motorhome on County Road 732 (near Ider). He then abandoned the motorhome and attempted to flee on foot when he was apprehended a short distance from the road.

The suspect had been a fugitive after most recently walking away from Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga. Blake was admitted for treatment after he allegedly swallowed an unknown amount of suspected methamphetamine and had slipped into a coma. He had just led Jackson and DeKalb County on a pursuit that ended near Rainsville.

Blake had previously been arrested for breaking into Henagar Junior High School and stealing $3300 that the Beta Club had saved for a trip in 2017, and was also charged with breaking into several churches just across the county line in Jackson County.

After being released from jail after a short stay, Blake was caught again after breaking into multiple storage units in Fort Payne. Before his apprehension last night, Blake had led Jackson County on several other chases.

At the time of his arrest last night, Blake had existing warrants in DeKalb County of Criminal Mischief 1st Degree, Attempt to Elude, Assault 3rd Degree, Resisting Arrest, and Reckless Endangerment.

The suspect also had existing warrants in Jackson County of Attempt to Elude (x2), Resisting Arrest, Tampering with Physical Evidence, Failure to Register a Vehicle, No Proof of Insurance, and Reckless Driving.

After Friday night's chase Blake is facing new charges of Reckless Endangerment, Possession of Controlled Substance, Resisting Arrest (x2), Attempt to Elude (x2), Drug Paraphernalia, Criminal Mischief 1st Degree, Reckless Endangerment, and Assault 3rd Degree.

DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said of the arrest: “I’d like to thank our guys for working hard and getting this fugitive off the streets. Blake has stolen an untold amount of goods and money from citizens in two counties.”

“While it can be frustrating having to arrest suspects like Blake multiple times, we can only do our job as law enforcement and get them in custody. These guys do this job well,” said Sheriff Welden.

“God Bless,” he concluded.

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Deputies conduct ‘Back to School’ road safety saturation

Narcotics evidence found in the vehicle of Johnny Ray Elkins (28 of Valley Head)

On Tuesday, Deputies with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force, Troopers, and Officers with the Henagar and Powell Police Departments conducted a ‘Back to School’ saturation operation.

The purpose of the operation was to take as many dangerous drivers and narcotics offenders off our roadways before local children started school on Wednesday.

During the operation, a suspect fled deputies on Pine Drive in Henagar at approximately 2 pm. A female suspect, Tiffany Crow (27 of Henagar), was captured after the pursuit. A male subject escaped on foot after the vehicle was abandoned in a field behind a residence.

Tiffany Crow (27 of Henagar)

Charges on the suspect who escaped may be pending after positive identification.

Crow received charges of Possession of Controlled Substance (x2) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Later in the evening, another suspect led deputies on a short pursuit on County Road 134 (near Henagar). Johnny Ray Elkins (28 of Valley Head) was arrested on charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Marijuana 2nd Degree, Drug Paraphernalia, and Attempt to Elude.

The passenger, Kelly Gilreath (40 of Ider) was charged with Possession of Controlled Substance, Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of Marijuana 2nd Degree.

Johnny Ray Elkins (28 of Valley Head) Kelly Gilreath (40 of Ider)

15 individuals in total were arrested during the operation.

Others arrested during the saturation:

- Anthony Eugene (54 of Washington, D.C.)

- Drug Paraphernalia

- Unlawful Possession of Prohibited Beverage

- Possession of Controlled Substance

- Possession of Marijuana 2nd

- Michael Bishop (26 of Sylvania)

- Failure to Appear Warrant (x2)

- Crystal Burt (30 of Fort Payne)

- Drug Paraphernalia

- Giving False ID to a Law Enforcement Officer

- Vernon Cottrell (27 of Rainsville)

- Possession of Marijuana 2nd

- Drug Paraphernalia

- DUI (Alcohol)

- Robert Dickinson (52 of Crossville)

- Possession of Marijuana 1st

- Drug Paraphernalia

- Chad Haggard (40 of Higdon)

- Disorderly Conduct

- Resisting Arrest

- Lakreisha Jackson (25 of Rainsville)

- Warrant for Failure to Comply

- Kayce Moore (36 of Elkton, KY)

- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

- Promoting Prison Contraband 2nd

- Illegal Possession of Prescription Drugs

- Possession of Controlled Substance

- Possession of Marijuana 2nd

- Dustin Spence (33 of Crossville)

- Failure to Appear Warrant

- Attempt to Elude

- Alexandria Tims (18 of Rainsville)

- Possession of Marijuana 2nd

- Drug Paraphernalia

- Erica Hicks (29 of Rainsville)

- Warrant for Jackson County (x2)

- Timothy Smith (32 of Geraldine)

 - Failure to Appear Warrants for Rainsville and Fyffe.

DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said of the operation: “I’d like to thank all our guys and the other agencies that helped make this operation a success. We wanted to put in the extra hours to help make our roadways safer when the buses and parents start taking our kids to school.”

“Our youth is our future that we have to protect with all of our resources. God Bless!” Concluded Sheriff Welden.

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Marshall County escapee captured by DCSO in Kilpatrick

Meth in William Harry Humphries possession when caught by the DCSO Sunday night. 

Sunday night (July 28, 2019) at approximately 8 pm, DeKalb County Deputies apprehended a fugitive from Marshall County in Kilpatrick.

William Harry Humphries Jr. (45 of Albertville) was apprehended after a traffic stop on Highway 68 near the intersection of Highway 168. Deputies were conducting a two day saturation of the Kilpatrick area.

William Harry Humphries Jr. (45 of Albertville)

Humphries was wanted by Marshall County for escaping from a work release facility. He and his passenger were in possession of approximately 18 grams of Methamphetamine when he was apprehended.

Humphries was charged with Distribution of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He’s also facing existing charges in Marshall County of Escape 2nd, Escape 3rd, and Failure to Appear for Receiving Stolen Property, 1st.

A female, Brenda Buckelew (38 of Horton, Alabama), was with Humpheries at the time of his arrest. Buckelew was also charged with Distribution of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Brenda Buckelew (38 of Horton, Alabama)

The following arrests were also made during the operation:

Jacobo Perez Belizorio (34 of Albertville)

- Driving Under the Influence (Alcohol)

Kevin Caudillo (38 of Attalla)

- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia - Giving False Information to a Law Enforcement Officer

Angel Davidson (29 of Attalla)

- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Truman Hicks (54 of Albertville)

- Possession of Marijuana, 2nd - Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Randy Hill (48 of Crossville)

- Domestic Violence 3rd

James Moore (47 of Fyffe)

- Driving Under the Influence (Alcohol) - Attempt to Elude - Reckless Endangerment

Franklin McDowell (37 of Albertville)

- Possession of Controlled Substance - Drug Paraphernalia - Resisting Arrest

Bradley Morgan (39 of Attalla)

- Warrant for Etowah County

Bradley Blackwell (22 of Fyffe)

- Warrant for Boaz

DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said of the arrests: “We conducted another successful saturation operation in Kilpatrick this week. We’ll be conducting more of these in different locations around the county.”

“These operations help make our roadways safer and also help apprehend wanted criminals passing through our communities. In the case of Mr. Humpheries, we apprehended a wanted criminal who was also caught in the act of bringing a large amount of Methamphetamine into our county,” he said.

“These offenders belong in our jail, not on our roads. God Bless!” Said Sheriff Welden.

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Wanted Huntsville man captured by Interdiction Team after Pursuit

Lamaric Douglas (30 of Huntsville)

Yesterday, DeKalb County Deputies with the Criminal Interdiction team were led on a pursuit on Interstate 59.

Deputies attempted to stop Lamaric Douglas (30 of Huntsville) on Highway 117 near Hammondville for a traffic violation. Douglas refused to stop, and proceeded on to Interstate 59 in the wrong direction; traveling Southbound in the Northbound lane.

The suspect traveled a short distance at a high rate of speed before blowing a tire and wrecking on the side of the interstate. He was then apprehended after a brief foot pursuit. In his vehicle, deputies found Oxycodone and Adderall Pills, as well as digitals scales with cocaine residue.

It was later discovered that Douglas was wanted by the Huntsville Police Department and Madison County Sheriff’s Office for 11 warrants; including three felony warrants for Trafficking in Cocaine, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Felony Attempt to Elude.

Douglas earned new charges in DeKalb County of Attempting to Elude, Reckless Endangerment (2x), Resisting Arrest, Possession of Controlled Substance (2x), Drug Paraphernalia, and Criminal Littering.

DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said of the arrest: “This is a fine job by our Interdiction Team. The reckless actions of this suspect could have very well resulted in injury or death of an innocent person on the interstate.”

“Our team did a great job of apprehending this suspect with no injury to themselves or others. We were happy to bring him to justice on his existing warrants and add some new charges for his actions.”

“God Bless!” Concluded Sheriff Welden.

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