BCSO takes part in statewide operation, nabs suspected drug trafficker

Published 2:23 pm Thursday, April 19, 2018

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The Butler County Sheriff’s Office participated in an arrest in Greenville the morning of Thursday, April 12, that was part of a larger operation to arrest suspected drug traffickers throughout the state.

According to a notice released from the office of U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin, Sr., “seven suspected cocaine and marijuana traffickers were arrested Thursday morning.”

The names are listed as follows: Cyrus Phyfier, 49, Edgar Lee Coleston, 40, Erwin Marvin Smith, 57, Gene Earl Easterling, Jr., 46, and George Edward Jones, III, 40, all from Montgomery. As well as Ernest Lee Rhodes, 35, from Greenville, and Jacques Bradley, Jr., 34, from Ohio.

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According to Franklin, around $1,000,000 in money and jewelry, along with guns and drugs, have been seized as a result of the investigation.

All the suspects are charged with a federal charge of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

The BCSO joined with U.S. Marshals on Thursday morning to arrest Rhodes.

Sheriff Kenny Harden said his department agreed to help when contacted by the U.S. Marshals, and said the BCSO was “aware of the suspect previously.”

Investigators first went to Rhodes’ home but discovered he was at work.

The officers then went to Rhodes’ jobsite and arrested him for possession of marijuana, 2nd degree, presumably in addition to the federal charge.

Harden said the BCSO “works very closely with other agencies” such as the U.S. Marshals.

The overall operation included the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), and a range of other local, state, and federal participants.