May drug bust yields one arrest

Published 10:27 am Thursday, June 22, 2017

By: Scott McLendon

The subject of a long-term, joint investigation culminated in a drug bust on Thomas Avenue in Luverne on Friday, May 26.


“There were complaints in the neighborhood about a lot of activity at the house, a lot of people going in and out,” said Mike Johnson, chief of the Luverne Police Department.  “This was a joint effort between the police department, the sheriff’s office, the U.S. Marshall Service, the District Attorney’s office and state ALEA narcotics officers.”

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According to police, pills, marijuana, controlled substances and guns were all seized in the incident. Of the weapons seized, one was stolen from Houston County and has since been returned. “The investigation is just beginning and this is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Johnson.

DJ McCreary has been charged with possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance. McCreary was the only name given by police in relation to the incident.

This wasn’t the result of a one-off traffic stop; this was a long-term narcotics investigation. As such, the investigation was a joint effort from various levels of law enforcement. “The sheriff and I wouldn’t be able to get this done so effectively and quickly without the help of the Marshalls and the ALEA narcotics unit. We appreciate them and I want them to know it,” said Chief Johnson.

“The U.S. Marshalls and the ALEA narcotics unit play big roles in small departments like we have,” said Mickey Powell, sheriff of Crenshaw County. “They do a lot for us that we don’t have the manpower, resources or money to do.”

According to police, children were also at the scene of this crime, the youngest being around three months old. DHR was called in to handle the juveniles and a separate investigation is being opened from that department.

Others were arrested in this incident, but for violations of individual paroles, not for the same warrant issued for McCreary.

Those who were arrested alongside McCreary have been released on bond. According to the sheriff, McCreary’s probation was revoked by a judge on June 6 meaning he will be heading to prison.

Once the lab results are returned, the process of adjudication can commence. “The lab is so far behind on getting analyses back that we’re looking at around a year before this can go to court,” said Powell. “It’s not like TV; our lab is close to a year behind on stuff. The lab is holding us up, but they’re short-handed and short-funded like everybody else. We’ll have to have the analysis of this if we’re to show it to a grand jury, which happens twice a year in Crenshaw County. District Attorney Charlotte Tesmer plays a big role in assisting all the agencies in her district.”

“I couldn’t do some of the things I do if it wasn’t for Mrs. Tesmer,” said Johnson. “She helps us out even if we call her in the middle of the night and I know she does the same for the sheriff.”