By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
An Atmore man was arrested December 13 by city police, armed with a search warrant, who raided his Terrace Street home.
Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks confirmed that 34-year-old Danielle Hall, who goes by the street name “Gonzo,” was taken into custody on three separate charges after the search turned up an undisclosed amount of marijuana, several tablets of Ecstasy (known as “the party drug” or “the love drug”), unidentified drug paraphernalia and more than $1,000 cash.
Escambia County Detention Center records show that Hall was processed into the facility on one count each of first-degree possession of marijuana, unlawful possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.
“Our investigators established enough probable cause for a search warrant,” the police chief said. “They executed the warrant and found a little bit of marijuana and some Ecstasy pills, along with $1,265 cash.”
The raid was carried out by city police investigators and uniformed patrol officers, along with operatives of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Drug Task Force, which includes two city narcotics investigators.
It took place at Hall’s Terrace Street residence in the middle of the afternoon, and several neighbors and curiosity seekers witnessed at least part of the raid and arrest.
Two individuals who watched part of the police operation reported that law enforcement personnel with “black windbreakers and automatic rifles” surrounded the residence as the search was conducted.
Authorities have not released the reason the Atmore man, who was released shortly after his arrest on a $5,000 bond, was charged with first-degree pot possession.
According to Alabama Criminal Code, a person commits the crime of unlawful possession of marijuana in the first degree if they possess marijuana “for other than personal use.” Unlawful possession of marijuana for other than personal use is a Class C felony and the possible sentence is 1 year and 1 day, to 10 years.
State code also specifies that a person can be charged with first-degree possession of marijuana if he or she possesses marijuana “for his or her personal use only after having been previously convicted of unlawful possession of marihuana [sic] in the second degree or unlawful possession of marihuana [sic] for his or her personal use only.”
Brooks said he wasn’t sure if Hall had any previous record of drug offenses.