Repeat Offenders

Many Named In Narcotics Trafficking Case Have Been Charged In The Past

Members of the SWAT Team prepare to leave the Jamestown Police Department prior to the execution of two search warrants in the morning hours March 9. During the searches, officers discovered several grams of methamphetamine, resulting in seven arrests. Two of those charged were named as part of “Operation Meltdown” involving the trafficking of methamphetamine in the area. Most of the 16 people named in the operation have been charged with crimes in the past. P-J file photo by Eric Tichy

Most of the 16 people tied to a large-scale methamphetamine ring reaching from Mexico and California to Fredonia and Jamestown have been charged in the past for various crimes committed locally.

An analysis of police reports from local agencies shows nine of the people named Tuesday in “Operation Meltdown” have been taken into custody at least once since 2014 on drug possession charges.

One was found with almost a half-pound of methamphetamine and a pound of marijuana in 2017.

And another was arrested late last year by Jamestown police for firing a gun inside a home with two young children inside.

The agencies involved in exposing the methamphetamine conspiracy — including the U.S. Attorney’s Office, FBI and local police — are hoping federal indictments will keep some of the repeat offenders off the streets.

Members of several local, state and federal agencies discuss "Operation Melt Down," a large-scale drug trafficking ring that brought methamphetamine from Mexico to California and eventually Western New York. P-J photo by Eric Tichy

“These are some of the names that, as far as the local media goes, that we see on a routine basis,” Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings said last week. “Anytime there’s been the opportunity to charge federally we’ve been pursuing that over the last couple of years. I think the local media has seen that and there’s a reason: We’re getting real sentences at the federal level.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office on Tuesday announced federal charges to eight area residents for possession and intent to distribute about 50 grams methamphetamine. Of those eight, only 23-year-old Alexis V. Hall had not been charged or arrested recently by police.

Danny W. Michael III, 44, was jailed after an April report of a man assaulting a woman at a Anderson Street home. Police later found 38 grams of methamphetamine, a .22 caliber rifle, drug paraphernalia and cash. Michael was charged in the incident with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and third-degree criminal possession of controlled substance.

Andrew C. Bennett, 29, was charged in April 2017, with possession of drug paraphernalia after a search of a Norwood Avenue home in Jamestown reportedly turned up methamphetamine and prescription medication. Also charged in the raid was 29-year-old Destiny J. Hare, with four counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Hare was named as one of the eight facing federal indictments Tuesday.

Searcy E. Fields, 49, was charged in June 2017 after a search of a West 10th Street home in Jamestown turned up heroin and crack cocaine.

Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings. P-J file photo by Eric Tichy

Jacob A. Motherwell, 29, was jailed in January of this year after JPD said it was investigating the trafficking of methamphetamine into the city. Motherwell was a passenger in a vehicle stopped near Allen and King streets when officers found crystal meth. Motherwell was taken into custody after police said he became “disorderly.” He was charged in the incident with second-degree obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct.

Michael A. Davis, 33, was found with methamphetamine in a Feb. 22 traffic stop in Jamestown. During a SWAT raid of his Baker Street apartment in April, police reportedly found crystal methamphetamine, cocaine, drug paraphernalia, two hand guns and five longs. He was charged with several counts of criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Davis was also charged in November 2017 after he was found with methamphetamine during a traffic stop on Allen Street.

Stacie N. Yancer, 38, was one of three people arrested in early March of this year after a raid of their Bassett Street apartment in the city. A search found 21 grams of methamphetamine, cocaine, suboxone, drug paraphernalia and cash.

Yancer was charged with third-, fifth- and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal use of drug paraphernalia.

The U.S. Attorney’s office also announced charges against 27-year-old Jamell Trapp of Fredonia, who police said was involved in a “multi-state drug trafficking organization” suspected of moving large amounts of methamphetamine. Trapp was charged in January 2017 after police found almost a half-pound of crystal meth and a pound of marijuana in his Spring Street home.

Through state search warrants, six additional people were charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. All but 50-year-old Tina L. Motherwell have faced charges of varying degrees in the past, an analysis of police records indicate.

Jarried M. Dean, 25, was taken into custody Dec. 21, 2017, after police said he and Douglas P. Beardsley walked into a Barrett Avenue home and fired several shots. Police said five people — including a 4- and 2-year-old — were inside at the time of the shooting. Both were arraigned on charges of first-degree burglary and endangering the welfare of a child.

No one was injured in the shooting.

Evan J. Motherwell, 22, was charged in early April 2017 after police responded to a Barrows Street apartment for a domestic incident. Motherwell reportedly got involved in a physical altercation in front of a 3-year-old child. He was charged at the time with first-degree criminal contempt, endangering the welfare of a child, fourth-degree criminal mischief and second-degree harassment.

In September 2017, 37-year-old Joey Weise was charged after using a credit card from the nonprofit organization he worked for to make personal purchases. An investigation revealed Weise reportedly charged about $505 to the credit card in May 2017. He was charged with official misconduct and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance after he was also found with a small amount of methamphetamine.

In a March 9 raid this year, 45-year-old Christina L. Dean was taken into custody on several drug-related charges. SWAT officers and members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force entered Dean’s Forest Avenue home, which police said was a “well-known location … for drug-related activities.” Inside, officers reportedly found methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and cash. Dean was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of drug paraphernalia and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Richard S. Dean, 42, was arrested in October 2014 after a raid at his Forest Avenue home. Officers reported finding a “quantity of methamphetamine and several items used to manufacture methamphetamine,” JPD said at the time. Dean was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of meth-making materials.