An alert property manager provided information to authorities that resulted in the arrest of seven Brookings-Harbor residents Wednesday in connection with the possession and manufacturing of methamphetamine.
While cleaning an apartment on Fern Street from which Connie Fay Atwood, 39, was being evicted, the landlord found what turned out to be materials used to make the drug, officials said.
After obtaining a search warrant, members of the South Coast Interagency Narcotics Team (SCINT), searched Atwoods apartment and confiscated the materials.
An additional warrant was received to search the premises of Don Samuel Williams residence on English Drive in Harbor, and a storage unit at South Coast Storage and Industry, where additional drug manufacturing paraphernalia was confiscated.
In addition to Williams and Atwood, authorities arrested Ronald Wayne Dalbec, 40, of Smith River; Tod Edward Gnadig, 27, and Melanie Francis Cook, 37, both of Harbor; and Nicole Jovan Krussow, 20, and Arnold Marion Wellenbrock, 46, of Brookings. All were booked into the Curry County Jail on various drug charges.
Williams and Atwood were arraigned Thursday on charges of manufacturing of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school and possession of methamphetamine.
Dalbec, Gnadig, Krussow, Cook and Wellenbrock were all charged with frequenting a place where drugs are sold.
Atwood, who faces an additional Jan. 9 drug possession charge, is being held in the Curry County Jail with security set at $50,000 for the earlier charge and $100,000 for the current charge.
Williams is being held in jail with security set at $100,000.
Dalbec and Wellenbrock remain in custody, each charged with two counts of frequenting a place where drugs are sold with bail set at $7,500 for each charge.
Krussow pleaded guilty Friday to the charge of frequenting a place where drugs are sold. She was sentenced to three days in jail, with credit for time served, 18 months probation that includes no alcohol, drugs or contact with the other defendants, and fined $250.
Cook also pleaded guilty Friday and was sentenced to three days in jail, 24 months probation, no alcohol, drugs or contact with the others, and a $250 fine.
Gnadig received a conditional release and will return to court next week.
Mya Widell, 21, who told authorities she had come to Williams English Drive residence to buy furniture, was charged with possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.
A 16-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy were both cited for frequenting a place where drugs are sold and referred to juvenile authorities.
Members of the SCINT team working on this case included Oregon State Police Troopers Jed Stone, Dan Stinnet and Scot Punch, Curry County Sheriffs deputies Dustin Watson, Walter Scherbarth, John Sevey and Chris Cappello, and Brookings Police Department officers Ron Plaster, Barbara Palicki and Donny Dotson, plus Brookings reserve officers Jim Dagenais, Al Bates and Mike Bottoms, and volunteer Enos Munis.
Weve been inundated with meth labs, Stone said. Its becoming epidemic.
Brookings Police Detective John Bishop, who was not involved in these arrests, said, I think its something that we are going to see more and more of.
Officers involved in the arrests said drug activity in the county is evidence of the strong need for continued funding to keep the SCINT teams together and on the job.
Curry County District Attorney Charles Steak said, We need to support the SCINT teams very much.
He added, however, that Curry County is already providing a great deal of support with three officers, one each from Oregon State Police, Curry County Sheriffs and Brookings Police departments.