Drug arrests continue

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

Christopher Ford, named in a federal indictment along with 11 other alleged drug dealers, turned himself in to authorities on Thursday.

Ford, 24, told police he was sitting at home watching the news and saw his name listed with 11 others. Authorities believe Ford had been staying at three different locations, and was not in the area when the warrants were served.

Email newsletter signup

Ford is charged with eight counts in the indictment that alleges he along with the others made up “The St. Phillips Street Boys.” Federal and state authorities, which were called in by the Selma Police Department, say the drug gang held the community hostage.

The Selma Narcotics Unit began the investigation of the “St. Phillips Street Boys” several months before calling in the ATF&E for assistance. Police Chief Jimmy Martin said his department “saw it was getting too big,” for them, plus a number of guns had been confiscated and shooting in the area was escalating.

The indictments and arrests were the culmination of a 15-month joint investigation. Authorities said guns were used to intimidate neighbors allowing open-air drug sales along St. Phillips Street. Bystanders cheered when more than 150 officers from the ABI, FBI, ATF&E, Alabama State Troopers and local law enforcement staged an early morning raid on five St. Phillips Street residences to serve the indictments and conduct searches.

Authorities sealed off the area, and used percussion and flash bombs at 6 a.m. before entering the residences. State Troopers provided cover from overhead, monitoring the raid from a helicopter.

Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. said he is not naive enough to think this series of arrests will end the drug problem.

“The citizens of Selma do not want us to stop here,” Perkins said following the arrests. “The citizens of Selma want the upward trail of drug trafficking that leads to the bankers and brokers of the mega-deals pursued and stopped with the same energy and effectiveness demonstrated during this operation.”