Four people were taken into custody early Friday morning on various drug charges.
Regina Mullinax, 44, of Parrish, was taken into custody around 6:52 a.m. at a residence on Johnson Circle in Parrish charges of unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
She is being held on a $15,000 property bond.
Rodney O’Neal Thomas, 33, of Parrish, was taken into custody around 6:54 a.m. at his place of employment on charges of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. His bond was set at $50,000 cash.
H.L. Ingram, 36, of Parrish, was taken into custody around 7:30 a.m. at a residence on Vines Street in Parrish on charges of Conspiracy to commit a controlled substance crime. His bond was also set at $50,000 cash.
William George Williams, 36, of Oakman, was taken into custody around 8:15 a.m. at a residence on Williams Road, just south Oakman on charges of conspiracy to commit a controlled substance crime. His bond was set at $30,000.
Parrish Police Chief Nick Smith said the arrest of the four suspects was the culmination of nearly five months worth of police work.
“We’ve been working on these warrants since February. We had warrants on six people but were only able to take four into custody Friday,” Smith said. “The fifth warrant will be executed later as that person is currently incarcerated in the Jasper City Jail and the sixth warrant will be executed when that subject’s lawyer turns him in.”
Smith said all suspects were taken into custody without incident, with one minor exception.
“We had to make a forced entry into one home because the person we were looking for decided he didn’t want to answer the door,” Smith said. “We knew he was in the house, but he said he didn’t hear us knocking. I don’t know how, since we pounded on the door several times — very loudly sometimes.”
Smith said he wanted to thank the members of his department (Reserve Officer Tony Reed and patrol officers Roderick McConnico and Jack Cooley), the U.S. Marshals Service and Walker County Beat 22 Constable Hugh Plyer for each of their assistance with Friday’s roundup.
“We’ve been doing this for five years now and, I don’t have the exact figures, but we have arrested right at 60 people,” Smith said. “And I’m real glad we were able to make new cases against H.L. Ingram and Rodney Thomas, and get them off the streets of Parrish.”
Smith said Thomas was recently released from jail and was serving as an inmate with the community correction, a work release program in Walker County, at the time of his arrest on Friday.
“From what I understand Rodney had just recently gotten off an ankle monitor, and if his previous charges are revoked because of Friday’s arrest, he’ll be doing time in state prison until 2020,” Smith said. “Every time Rodney gets out of jail, we start seeing the younger generation in this community wearing a lot of red clothing, which is the color of a little gang he’s tried to organize. In fact, we arrested one of the alleged gang members back in June on drug charges.”
Smith said Friday’s roundup not only took some “troublemakers” off the street, but also gave his office the opportunity to utilize some new equipment.
“We got to use some of our new equipment we received from the Department of Homeland Security,” Smith said. “And we also got to use our new humvee, which we got from the military through the 10-33 Program.”
Parrish police and U.S. Marshals are already making plans to conduct the second wave of Operation Summer HEAT, which Smith said would probable take place some time in August.