Four arrested in Harrisburg drug bust

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News 12 First at Five and News 12 at 6 o'clock; May 8, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga. --- Richmond County narcotics investigators have arrested four people after a drug raid on two homes in the 1800 block of Ellis Street, one of them abandoned.

Freddie Keith, Nicodemus Barnes and Michael Edwards were taken in on drug charges. Officers found crack cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy pills during the raid. Some of the drugs were found under an abandoned house by a K-9 dog, Blesk.

A fourth man, Willie Smith, was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge.

The raid happened Thursday night. Deputies say they have been targeting some areas in Harrisburg after complaints from people there about drug activity.

Mariah Frederick, her 6-month-old and her neighbors on the 1800 block of Ellis Street are enjoying the quiet.

"I feel like it's sad because there are little kids out here and they are selling drugs," says Mariah.

Now, there are fewer drugs on her street after a drug bust Wednesday night landed four men in jail.

"I saw the ‘narcs’, the dogs and the police jump out of a white truck with tinted windows," says Mariah.

Lt. Robert Partain with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office knows about the problems in the neighborhood.

"We've had a significant amount of problems in Harrisburg and we continue to address them," says Lt. Partain.

"They need to start cracking down and going to more houses," says Mariah.

The Sheriff's Office vows to help Mariah and her neighborhood.

However, there's something they can't help and that's all the ‘For Sale’ signs lining the street, along with the abandoned buildings.

"People choose where to live and this is not a bad neighborhood, but it's just too much drugs," says Mariah.

In fact, after the arrest, is when the K-9 dog Blesk searched and found a bag of cocaine and a bag of marijuana. Those were found under an abandoned house right next door to the drug house.

"It's typical where they don't want to be caught with the drugs on the person or on their property and they'll put them next door outside by a tree," says Lt. Partain.

This bust is a small step in the right direction to clean up the streets.

"It's just one of what we hope will be many as we continue on," says Lt. Partain.

"I'm trying to protect her (the 6-month-old) and keep her away from all of this," says Mariah.

You can call the Richmond County Sheriff's Office Drug Tipline at (706) 828-DRUG if you suspect drugs in your neighborhood.

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