Citizens spark marijuana arrest

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

Selma Police Chief William T. Riley III praised the citizens who stood up and did something about the drug problem in their neighborhood.

Their boldness led to the arrest of a Selma man who authorities have alleged grew marijuana outside an apartment.

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Selma police officers took Kelvin Booker Sr., 45, 760 County Road 81, into custody Wednesday evening and booked him on charges of unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance.

“I’m amazed that people have gotten so brazen that they could actually sit marijuana outside of their apartment complex,” Riley said. “There’s been a change in the people in the community because they called us and informed us. They’re reaching the point where they’re tired of criminal acts. That’s a good sign.”

The Selma Police Department Drug Unit reacted to an anonymous tip Wednesday morning about marijuana plants outside of an apartment complex in the 1900 Block of Marie Foster Street.

After surveying the area, officers confiscated a single plant at about 11:30 a.m. They returned to the apartments that afternoon and observed Booker approaching the residence and acting suspiciously.

Police apprehended Booker and detained him for questioning. Officers said Booker admitted he was living at the residence with a woman and also admitted to growing the plant illegally.

According to police, Booker said he cultivated the plant for about a month until it grew to more than one foot high.

Booker was transported to the Dallas County Jail where he remains on $60,000 bond and awaits trial.

Riley was enthused at the work of the drug unit, which was reinstated in April, two months after his arrival to the department. He all but assured the unit would be a stronger presence from now on.

“If you have a son, daughter, spouse or relative involved in criminal activity, you need to tell them to stop because we’re coming,” Riley said. “We’re not going away.”