COULDN'T BELIEVE IT, POLICE CHIEF JIMMY JOHNSON

Suspected Drug Dealer Released on Bond Before Police Leave Scene of Arrest

Updated 6 years ago by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor
Suspected Drug Dealer Released on Bond Before Police Leave Scene of Arrest

The Huntington Police Department’s “river to jail” program has gathered praise from applauding neighbors, council members  and the Williams administration. 

On Friday morning, the entire violent crime task force, entire special emphasis unit, one half of the day shift, two code enforcement officers and a member of animal control conducted a drug raid in the Fairfield neighborhood. Three felony arrests were made , including a fleeing, twice convicted felon who officers chased on foot. Officers also seized a distribution amount of heroin, cash and a 2013 Chevy Cruze.

Police Chief Jimmy Johnson explained the suspect did not initially hold his hands up and give up. “We had to run after him all over Fairfield,” Johnson said.

But before Johnson and the police resources left the scene, he received a phone call. One suspect charged with delivery of a controlled substance and fleeing had been released on a $2,500 cash bond.

“The guy was out of jail before our guys got home,” Chief Johnson explained. “I could not believe it.”

Prior to the launch of River to Jail, Johnson reiterated the “immediate, intense, in your face and relentless” nature of the initiative.

“We are doing our jobs at the Huntington Police Department. Young guys with families are putting their lives on the line. It’s time for others to get on board” efforts to rid the city of the drug scourge and related crimes, the chief said in a Friday interview.

Johnson indicated that massing resources is necessary for officer and community safety. Citing separate instances, he said it’s not uncommon to seize an assault rifle.

 Suspects often have vicious animals which explains why Animal Control joins the raid. 

"The Cabell County Commission office has been very supportive with animal control assistance. Drug dealers often use dangerous dogs to guard their homes," the Chief said.

Drug buys, planning, obtaining necessary search warrants and execution of a sweep consumes public funds and officer work hours.  "That's why we have so many resources (deployed) when heroin and crack cocaine are involved.”

Johnson asks politicians and others to come together with law enforcement agencies . the Williams administration, and City Council.

‘I’m tired of politicians saying ‘I want to do something,’ then we have an arrested heroin dealer,  and two time felon who fled police released on a $2,500 cash bond,"  the chief said. 

Since the initiation of the River to Jail program , over 50 persons have been arrested and a phenomenal amount of cash, drugs and weapons have been recovered. The continuing success would not be possible without public cooperation in supplying vital information.

The message for dealers from the arrests and seizure --- River to Jail includes the entire city.
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