Citizens from the newly formed Dog Hill Neighborhood Watch provided tips to Culpeper police that resulted in three men facing drug charges this week.
Thursday night, police charged William Lester Thomas Jr, 20, of the 500 block of North Monticello Ave. and Rico Mitchell, 22, of Haymarket, with possession with felony intent to distribute cocaine.
Last night, police charged Anglus Lepriece Thompson, 38, of the 24000 block of Cedar Ridge Road, with felony possession with intent to distribute PCP.
The joint police and Culpeper County Sheriff's Office Street Crimes Unit investigated the drug complaints lodged by citizens and made the arrests.
Police began watching a house in the 500 block of North Monticello Avenue about two weeks ago, said Culpeper police Lt. Tim Chilton, who heads the Street Crimes Unit.
About 9:50 p.m., Thursday, police noticed a 2005 gold Mercedes Benz at the house under surveillance on North Monticello Avenue, with three men inside it. The vehicle had previously been described as a possible vehicle used in suspected drug sales at the residence.
Police then approached the car.
"We saw suspected drugs in plain view," said Chilton.
A search of the vehicle produced suspected crack cocaine, scales and packing typically used to sell narcotics.
Mitchell and Thomas were charged. The third man does not face charges.
The following night, police executed a drug search warrant about 6:30 p.m. at a residence in the 500 block of Fourth Street.
Chilton said during the past weeks undercover buys of suspected marijuana and heroin had been made at the house.
"During the execution of the search warrant, we discovered a large amount of suspected PCP," said Chilton.
Thompson, who was in the house, was charged. A female at the house was not charged.
Chilton noted that PCP appears to be gaining popularity again. Several years ago, local and federal authorities broke up a PCP ring operating in town. Those arrested as part of the ring faced federal charges.
The Street Crimes Unit also is aggressively investigating heroin sales and use.
"We are still getting a large number of heroin overdoses," said Chilton.
The new Dog Hill Neighborhood Watch covers an area roughly from Kelly Street on the east to Virginia Avenue on the west and Sperryville Pike on the north to Fourth Street at the south end.
"These arrests prove the value of Neighborhood Watch groups," said Maj. Ricky Pinksaw. "These citizen tips brought the desired results with the arrest of three suspected drug dealers."
Anyone with drug information may contact Chilton by calling the joint dispatch center at 540-727-7900 and leaving a message.
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