ECSO makes several arrests

Published 4:44 pm Sunday, August 15, 2010

A suspicious vehicle near Fountain/J.O. Davis Correctional Facility earlier this month led to a drug bust, according to the Escambia County Sheriff’s office.

Camelitta Rogers, 27, was arrested the morning of Aug. 2 for possession of marijuana first degree due to having more than personal use, Brandon Burkett, commander of the 21st Judicial Drug Task Force, said.

The SUV Rogers was driving when pulled over on Hwy. 21 at the time of her arrest was spotted minutes earlier on the prison’s property close to the fence. According to Burkett, when a corrections officer approached the vehicle, Rogers drove onto Hwy. 21 where deputy Jeremy Conn noticed the vehicle and along with members of the K-9 unit from Fountain initiated a stop.

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Once Rogers was identified, a juvenile passenger was asked to step out of the car and was searched. During the search officers discovered five small bags of marijuana. Lt. Deon Wasdin with the K-9 unit then searched the perimeter of the vehicle and the K-9 alerted that there were possible drugs in the rear hatch of the SUV. As a result of the search, officers discovered a garbage bag with five individual bags of marijuana in it taped with electrical tape.

“We believe that their intentions were to throw them over the fence of the prison,” Burkett said.

The evening prior to Rogers’ arrest, deputy Jesse Warren made two arrests at the intersection of Old Atmore Road and Kadee Lane.

Tina Bankston, 43, was arrested for unlawful possession of a controlled substance after a small green bag with crack cocaine in it was discovered in her purse during a traffic stop. According to Burkett, Bankston was the passenger in the vehicle, and was asked if she had any “illegal items” on her and she stated no. Warren discovered the crack cocaine during his search of the vehicle.

In addition, Warren noted the smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath. Following the failure of all sobriety tests, 59-year-old Charles Schrock was arrested for driving under the influence.

Another drug arrest was made on July 31, when deputy Lucas Gibson arrested Clarence Kemp Jr., 22, for unlawful possession of marijuana first during a safety checkpoint at Old Atmore Road and Kadee Lane. Burkett said that Gibson asked for IDs of those in the vehicle and noted marijuana sitting in Kemp’s lap who was in the passenger’s seat. According to the report, Kemp admitted to having marijuana and more in the vehicle, which was retrieved during the arrest.

Less than 24 hours prior to Gibson’s arrest, Warren cuffed 44-year-old Ronald Pugh for unlawful possession of a controlled substance after pulling him over at a safety checkpoint on Ewing Drive in Atmore. According to Burkett, Warren was tipped off by the “strong odor” of marijuana coming from the vehicle and asked Pugh, who did not have his identification, if he had any marijuana at which time he said that he had “just finished smoking it.” Warren was given consent to search the vehicle and located a Lortab and placed Pugh under arrest.