Eight men were charged and a ninth is being sought after police raided two houses on West 39th Street last week.
“Operation SunGazer” “focused on two houses in the 800 and 900 blocks of West 39th Street and the subjects who were frequenting them,” police say.
It followed a seven-week investigation following complaints and information provided by area residents. Detectives identified the suspects involved in the drug activity and “had warrants for the arrest of several of the suspects in hand before Friday’s operation.”
Police recovered various amounts of cocaine and marijuana along with two weapons and a large sum of money.
Arrested were Deandre Wiggins, 20, charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and tampering with evidence; Lawrence Williams, 56, charged with possession of a controlled substance; Eshon Maurice Grant, 21, charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, tampering with evidence, obstruction and possession of marijuana; Tony Oleando Houston, 38, possession of a controlled substance, tampering with evidence, obstruction and driving with a suspended license; Leonard Randy Washington, 34, sale of a controlled substance; Timothy Leonard Alexander, 23, possession of marijuana; Alex Alexander, 20, possession of marijuana; and Emanuel Lee Williams, 35, possession of a controlled substance, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, obstruction of an officer by fleeing and violation of parole.
Still being sought is Joshua Morgan McNear, 22.
Capt. DeVonn Adams, Central Precinct Commander, said the investigation followed concerns voiced by community residents to address rampant street-level drug activity.
“Street-level drugs are associated with everything from small property crimes to homicides,” he said. “A rise in criminal activity in this area caught our attention months ago and information from residents helped us focus on these two houses.”
Anyone with information on illegal activities in the area or on McNear’s location is asked to call Crimestoppers at (912) 234-2020 or text CRIMES (274637) using the keyword CSTOP2020.
• Detectives took one suspect into custody but another is at large after a home invasion on the Southside. About 12:30 a.m. Feb. 21, police responded to reports of a home invasion at Edgewater Trace Apartments on 10000 block of Abercorn.
At 11:20 p.m, Corey Peoples, 26, of the 9400 block of Whitfield Avenue, was arrested for the crime during a traffic stop on Truman Parkway. A gun was recovered.
Investigators continue their search for the second suspect, a black male in his early 20s, 5-4 to 5-6 and 275-300 pounds.
• “An alert off-duty officer and coordination between Metro Police and Georgia state troopers on Sunday morning” led to the arrest of a Savannah man less than 24 hours after the car he was driving was stolen in a robbery, police say.
Derrick Leonard Middleton, 24, of the 700 block of West 47th Street, was arrested after he lost control of the car on I-16 and then lost a foot race with troopers and police just after 2 a.m.
He was charged with two counts of theft by receiving stolen property by detectives and speeding, no permit, reckless driving and fleeing to elude police officers by the Georgia State Patrol. Middleton has a history of arrests dating to 2007.
The silver 2008 Honda Element he was driving was stolen from a 31-year-old woman when she approached her house on West Hall Street and was confronted by a gunman who robbed her of her keys and purse about 3 a.m. Saturday.
An off-duty officer recognized the Honda by its Virginia license plate and alerted police. Troopers and uniformed officers followed the Honda back towards Savannah and attempted to stop it with stop sticks. The driver eluded the sticks but crashed into a guard rail before attempting to run from the officers.