Thursday, August 24, 2000

Deputies arrest 7 in marijuana sweep

Sheriff says bust will cut down on other crime

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — As part of an anti-marijuana effort, Butler County sheriff's deputies have confiscated 70 marijuana plants and arrested seven people — including two bicyclists who allegedly sold drugs to an undercover offi cer in a school zone.

        Sheriff's officials on Wednesday said the action was part of an enforcement sweep throughout the county, and some of the seizures occurred as a result of helicopter patrols and tips that came to the sheriff's office. Sheriff Harold Don Gabbard received one himself by phone at his home this past weekend.

        Besides eliminating an estimated $85,000 of marijuana from potential street sales, the enforcement effort is likely to prevent other crimes, Sheriff Gabbard said.

        “All of that stuff is culti vated to be sold locally, some of it to teen-agers, and how do you think they support their habit? They steal your hubcaps and your lawn mowers, and maybe yank that purse off your shoulder,” he said.

        Daniel Ciavarella, 24, and Bradley Bekemeier, 18, are charged with trafficking in drugs near Hamilton's Grant Elementary School last week. Mr. Ciavarella also is charged with cultivating marijuana at his home in the 1100 block of Vine Street, Hamilton.

        Bruce Anthony Williams, 24, no address available, who police say was Mr. Ciavarella's supplier, is charged with trafficking in drugs at the Superpetz on Pleasant Avenue in Hamilton.

        Facing charges of cultivat ing marijuana, a felony, are:

        Steven Pace, 48, of Oxford, arrested Monday after 22 marijuana plants were confiscated from his home in the 6300 block of Peoria-Reily Road.

        Bobbie Jean Skalley, 35, and James Carl Cox, 35, of Hamilton, arrested Monday after nine plants were found in the 1200 block of Kahn Avenue.

        Charles Polly, 54, of Oxford, arrested Tuesday after five plants were seized from a property in the 3000 block of Lanes-Mill Road.

        Sheriff's vice officers also seized 32 plants from fields surrounding Lanes-Mill Road and two plants from a field at U.S. 27 and Herman Road in Ross Township.


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