Police arrest 5 in raid on Cape duplex

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Cape Girardeau police kicked open the door to an alleged crack house Friday night and arrested five people after serving a search warrant.

None of those arrested during the search lived in the duplex at 59 N. Park, Apt. B. The main occupant was not at home, police said. Inside, police found the suspects using crack cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia, said Sgt. Rick Schmidt.

In custody are Cape Girardeau residents Ray Shauntil Purl, 20; Jason Robert Allman, 30; Francine Ford, 23; Robert Lawrence Criddle, 21; and Richard Steven Wren, 20.

A narcotics detective said he was familiar with a few of those arrested Friday night because he had arrested them previously on other charges. This familiarity precludes him from doing undercover work within the city, but he does do so for the SEMO Drug Task Force, a multijurisdictional group of narcotics officers from law enforcement agencies across Southeast Missouri.

"We knew half of them in there, and they all called us by our first names," he said.

This was the second home on Park Avenue the detective has served a warrant on within a month, he said. And it may not be the last.

"I've got a ton of houses here in Cape Girardeau that I'm always watching," he said. "I'm waiting on them."

Police obtained the warrant based on information received through a confidential informant and the Crime Stoppers Program, which allows citizens to provide police information about criminal activity anonymously. The warrant was served as part of a joint operation with the SEMO Drug Task Force.

To arrest as many as five crack suspects in one home is not typical, Schmidt said. Most crack arrests in the city stem from traffic stops or informant tips.

"But they have done a few more search warrants here lately than in years past," he said of the department.

Currently, the police department has two narcotics detectives and they are on call at all hours, he said. A third was terminated in December and has not been replaced.

Purl was charged with possession of crack cocaine and is being held on a bond of $50,000.

Allman was charged with possession of crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia. He was found with a pipe and a mirror used with the drugs, police said. His bond has been set at $20,000.

Ford was charged with possession of a crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia. Police said she was found with a "push rod," a thin piece of metal used to pack the drug into a pipe. Her bond was set at $10,000.

Criddle was charged with drug trafficking for delivering more than 2 grams of cocaine base. His bond was set at $50,000.

Wren was charged with first-degree drug trafficking for delivering more than 2 grams of cocaine base and possession of more than five grams of marijuana with intent to distribute. The marijuana was packaged in individual plastic bags, as though prepared for sale, police said. His bond was set at $50,000.


335-6611, extension 160

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