Regional task force apprehends Iowa trio after traffic stop, raid on hotel room
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Despite efforts by state and local officials to make visitors feel welcome, a trio of Iowa residents probably won’t have pleasant memories of their recent visit to Alabama.
The three — two men and a woman — have apparently headed back to the Hawkeye State after posting bond on felony drug charges that resulted from a traffic stop and subsequent execution of a search warrant at a local hotel room.
According to sketchy details gleaned from the Escambia County Detention Center website and incident and arrest reports, the suspects — Candy Joel Hall, Onterrail Ramond Altman and Demarias Vonterroi Brown, all residents of Fort Dodge, Iowa — were arrested July 15 and booked into the facility. Each was released on bond the next day.
Sources close to the investigation say the Iowa trio’s enjoyment of their time in the Heart of Dixie began to wane when members of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Region A Drug Task Force, which includes city and county officers from across the region, pulled over a vehicle, reportedly driven by Hall, at an undisclosed location in Atmore.
Drug agents reportedly discovered $15,000 in U.S. currency and nearly 300 grams of marijuana in the vehicle, along with evidence that the driver had at least one accomplice in a room at Atmore’s Fairfield Inn, near Interstate 65.
A search warrant was obtained, and task force officers found undisclosed quantities of methamphetamine and another, unspecified drug in the room, as well as at least one set of scales and two handguns.
Hall, 21, and Brown, 24, are each charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of first-degree possession of marijuana. Altman is charged with one count each of possession of a controlled substance and first-degree possession of marijuana.
Brown and Altman were each also charged with possession of a concealed pistol for which neither had a permit.
Hall and Brown were released after $20,000 bond was posted for each; Altman was freed when a $25,000 bond was posted on his behalf.
Although the three Iowans have been released on bond, the investigation reportedly continues into their illicit activities in and around Atmore.