- Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 November 2009 17:29
- Published on Wednesday, 25 November 2009 17:29
- Hits: 777
What started as an early morning raid executing search warrants and rounding up suspected drug dealers on Thursday morning continued through the weekend.
Preston D. Gray, 26, of Colonial Beach was arrested last Saturday in Culpepper on charges related to drug trafficking.
His seizure was not as eventful as the early morning raid of Thursday, Nov. 19 at around 5 a.m., when the Tri-County Task Force comprised of the Virginia State Police, Colonial Beach Police, Westmoreland Sheriffs Department, King George Sheriffs Office, Caroline County Sheriffs Office and NCIS (Navel Criminal Investigative Services) along with the FBI made a significant step forward in ridding the community of drug activities.
Derrick Donnell Jones, Steven Bernard Dudley, Donald Wayne Turner, Marshal C. Wilson, Davon Gaston Himes and Bonnie Henry Smith of Colonial Beach were all arrested and charged with various crimes related to drug activity and trafficking. Arlene Malave of Hague and Aaron Early Holtzolclaw of King George were also arrested for drug charges. Candice Nicole Mills of Colonial Beach was arrested under charges related to child abuse and neglect for allowing drug dealing to occur in the presence of minors.
Child Protective Services and Animal Control were called in to assist with any issues concerning minors or animals that may come up. Rescue personnel were put on standby minutes before the round up, but were given the all-clear shortly after.
The bust took place in at least 12 different locations simultaneously and more than 40 personnel comprised of swat teams and officers converged on locations throughout Westmoreland County, including Colonial Beach, and one location in King George County.
How it all begins
Citizen complaints or tips from someone arrested put police on notice to possible drug activity. If a pattern is confirmed, then an investigation is started. Investigations like the one that lead up to this week’s round up can take at least six months of preliminary work before a raid can be conducted.
“There are just so many aspects that go into investigating,” Westmoreland County Sherriff C. O. Balderson said. “Officers from the task force are all over the place but 95 percent comes from individuals calling us, which we want because that’s the heart and soul of our department. We don’t have personnel on every corner to see the activity. Intelligence gathering from the community letting us know what they see starts the investigating.”
Balderson added: “It takes a lot of foot work, man hours and a lot of intelligence gathering to make it go smoothly.”
Colonial Beach Police Chief Christopher Hawkins said, “People will mistakenly think that because they see activity of people coming and going in patterns that we see it or that we should see it.”
Hawkins explained that undercover officers can’t be on every corner all the time, but once a citizen reports the activity then officers can be alerted to the situation and start watching and investigating.
Hawkins said it is frustrating not being able to keep the public informed when a member of the community calls with a complaint of possible drug activity, then three weeks later they call back and want to know why nothing has been done.
“It’s great that they call back because a lot of times we get another piece of the puzzle, but at the same time we can’t divulge information about the investigation,” Hawkins said.
Sometimes the activity is under investigation and sometimes the people are already in custody, yet the police can’t give out information until the “round up” is complete.
“In a lot of situations we can’t tell a citizen that we’re doing something about it, we have to wait and that’s the hardest thing to do because we want to make that citizen happy right then because we know they are upset,” Hawkins said.
Balderson explained that the task force has to have enough evidence to avoid making an arrest that would later result in no charges filed and put a dealer back out on the street.
“It wouldn’t do us any good if we rushed into something, then we couldn’t prove it in court or we have it thrown out,” Balderson said. “We have been very fortunate that all previous arrests have resulted in either a guilty plea or conviction.
- Last Updated on Sunday, 15 November 2009 17:13
- Published on Sunday, 15 November 2009 17:13
- Hits: 666
Monroe Bay washes over Monroe Bay Ave at the intersection of Ball Street in Colonial Beach.
The Boat Ramp on Monroe Bay at Monroe Bay Marina.
Water reaches the bottom of Happy Clam restaurant in Colonial Beach. One lower storage/office room did sustain flooding.
- Last Updated on Friday, 13 November 2009 20:47
- Published on Friday, 13 November 2009 20:47
- Hits: 652
Reporter Bruce Leshan of Channel 9 news and cameraman Greg Guise, in the truck, were in town to cover the impacts of the late season storm.
As Hurricane Ida’s remnants became a nor’easter intensifying off the coast of Virginia, the new moon added to a higher than normal high tide in Colonial Beach last night. Mayor Fred Rummage declared a state of emergency in Colonial Beach at the Town Council meeting yesterday evening.
Given the damage done in recent years, Colonial Beach was bound to make news.
A Chanel 9 News crew was on hand yesterday evening just after 6 p.m. for a live shot of the Potomac as it pounded the gazebo on the municipal pier. Reporter Bruce Leshan braved the wind and rain to show viewers how we compared to Ocean City, Md. Although our winds were roughly half the speed of Ocean City’s, our 25 mph winds will surely bring a significant change in the boardwalk if they continue to intensify.
At high tide, just around 10:30 p.m. last night, boats on trailers in the parking lot of the Yacht Club Marina were submerged in water. Water was washing onto Monroe Bay Ave at Ball Street and on Irving Avenue just past the Wakefield Motel toward the Point, and waves were splashing over the parking lot of St. Johns Condominiums at 715 Washington Ave.
The storm is expected to hang around through Saturday.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 November 2009 18:57
- Published on Wednesday, 11 November 2009 18:57
- Hits: 848
The fiscal clock is ticking. It appears that a council agreement between the Colonial Beach Town Council and School Board, drafted to facilitate the progress of requested information needed to close the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009, may be slowing the process down. State law requires a municipality to have an audit for the prior fiscal year finished by Nov. 30 according to Councilman David Coombes.
The onset of the agreement began with a meeting scheduled on Oct. 28 and appears that due to legal red tape, the town citizens will not see the signing of this agreement till at least Nov. 12, and only after the School Board gets some answers of its own about the agreement.
- Last Updated on Saturday, 19 January 2013 15:13
- Published on Monday, 02 November 2009 21:08
- Hits: 830
Colonial Beach Vice Mayor Trish King sat in at Friday’s Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies for Mayor Fred C. Rummage who she reported was in the hospital with gall bladder problems. King wished him a speedy recovery from all the members of council.
Calls to the Colonial Beach Rescue Chief, Ronald “Sparky” Ridgely, Town Hall and the mayor’s home failed to dispel rumors that Rummage’s condition had worsened over the weekend, and he had been transferred to a larger hospital.
Official statements reflect King’s report of his condition given Friday morning. Calls to the mayor’s home go directly to voicemail and no response from the family has been received as of Monday afternoon.