Busted:17th time's a charm

Published 3:31 am Monday, February 7, 2005

By By Lee Weyhrich
Multiple offender Gary Reginald Hollins, 41 of Atmore, was arrested last week for the possession and trafficking of 18 pounds of marijuana as well as the possession of several weapons.
According to information from the Drug Task Force, at approximately 10:45 p.m. the investigation of Hollins climaxed with a search through his home. The search turned up 18 large bags of Marijuana as well as two handguns and a rusted, but still functioning, machine gun. The estimated street value of the marijuana was about $36,000.
"The value was 18 pounds at an estimated $2,000 a pound," Glenn Carlee, the Director of Public Safety for the City of Atmore and a member of the Drug Task Force said.
Hollins has been arrested 16 times previously though not all the arrests ended in convictions. According to city and state arrest reports, since the mid '80s he has been arrested for second degree larceny, theft of property, several drug charges, burglary third degree and several gun violations as well as menacing, domestic violence and shooting into an occupied vehicle.
Sources said, with his previous felony arrests it is illegal for Hollins to own a gun and he will likely face more serious charges than if he had merely been arrested for the drug charge. He is currently being held at the Escambia County Detention Center with a $200,000 bond.
On Jan. 27, the same day as Hollins was arrested, a 42 year old Brewton man was arrested for giving cocaine to minors. John H. Smith of Jay Rd. was charged with furnishing illegal drugs to persons under the age of 18 after a parent of a 14-year-old reported that Smith had given cocaine to the child. According to information from the Drug Task Force, further investigation showed that Smith had given cocaine to at least one other 14-year-old.
Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith said this is just the latest of the 21st Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force's victories in the war on drugs. "They're doing a great job," Smith said. "It's good that we have something like this in this county."
This is the second major arrest for the Drug Task Force in less than a week.
Smith credits a lot of the Task Force's success to Carlee.
"Chief Carlee devotes a lot of his spare time to the Drug Task Force which is why they're so successful," Smith said. "His leadership is the reason the Drug Task Force is so successful in this end of the county especially."
The Drug Task Force is made up of members of the Escambia County Sheriff's Department, the Atmore Police Department, the East Brewton Police Department, the Brewton Police Department, the Flomaton Police Department, the Escambia County Commission, and the Escambia County District Attorney's Office.

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