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Longview woman's drug arrest marks sixth at local motels in 30 days

By Robyn Claridy rclaridy@news-journal.com
March 15, 2011 at 10 p.m.


A Longview woman's arrest Monday marked the sixth person arrested for felony drug manufacturing/distributing at an East Texas motel in less than 30 days, which area police officials said is not uncommon.

Area police officers have responded to a variety of drug calls at area motels recently, including a methamphetamine lab fire that forced the evacuation of a Kilgore motel.

"Unfortunately people who are addicts or deal illegal substances commonly use motels as a place to conduct illegal activities," police spokeswoman Kristie Brian said. "That being said, we often respond to calls and receive tips about narcotic activity at motels."

Barbara Ann Edwards, 28, remained jailed Tuesday on bonds totaling $100,500, charged with manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana. A finding that came after 15.4 grams of methamphetamine was found in the front of Edwards' underwear, and less than an ounce of marijuana was found in a closet of the motel room at Baymont Inn in the 500 block of South Access Road, according to arrest reports.

Officers went to the motel searching for Edwards, after knocking on the motel door for about a minute, Edwards answered the door and consented to a search of the room for weapons, drugs and drug paraphernalia, officer Rebekah Martinez stated in the report.

"While searching, it became evident that she was concealing something in her pants because of the way she kept squirming, turning away from me and trying to put her hand down the back of her pants," the report stated. "Then I heard what sounded like plastic and observed what appeared to be a plastic bag when Edwards pulled down the front of her underwear."

She said another officer held Edwards down while she grabbed the plastic bag, containing six smaller bags which contained meth.

Saturday morning 19-year-old Tori Gamblin, of Longview and 24-year-old William Welch, of Kilgore were arrested after officers were dispatched to Motel 6 in the 100 block of South Access Road. Officers found 17 grams of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, marijuana and a gun in the room.

The two remained jailed Tuesday with a $30,000 bond each, charged with manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana.

It was a meth lab fire that led fire and police officials to America's Best Value Inn in Kilgore where three Kilgore residents were arrested for 20.1 grams of methamphetamine, counterfeiting equipment, counterfeit checks, money and forged identification.

Rebecca Crystal Good, 30, was released from jail on $50,000 bond, charged with possession of a controlled substance; 40-year-old Tammy Jo Sparks remains jailed on $100,000 bond, charged with possession of a controlled substance; and 52-year-old John Carroll Moore remains jailed on bonds totaling $350,000, charged with delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and hinder and apprehension.

In 2010 Longview police arrested 198 people at 29 area motel and hotels. Those include 53 arrests at Texas Lodge, 27 at American Dream Inn, 16 at Guest Inn, 15 at Lone Star Motel and 12 at Motel 6.

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