Community complaints result in bust
by Courtney Stevens
Aug 14, 2013 | 2945 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cleveland Police Chief Buster Bingham shows a gun seized in the bust.
Cleveland Police Chief Buster Bingham shows a gun seized in the bust.
The faint smell of marijuana floated in the air throughout the pressroom of the Cleveland Police Department as Chief Buster Bingham and Narcotics Investigator Michael Melton displayed the contraband found at 710 Pearl Ave on Friday after serving a search warrant at around 1:30 p.m.

Seven ounces of marijuana, three handguns and three digital scales were found in the home of 31-year-old Lekerrick Harris of Cleveland.

"I had been receiving a couple of complaints from the neighborhood. Due to further investigation we were able to obtain a search warrant," said Melton.

Harris was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

"This is a medium level drug bust," said Bingham.

The Cleveland Police Department joined forces with the Bolivar County Sherriff's Department in order to ensure the removal of the narcotics from Harris' home.

Approximately eight to 10 officers were involved in the execution of the search warrant.

"Inside Cleveland we are so proactive that instead of holding large amounts (of narcotics) at one time, they'll have a few ounces of marijuana, turn around and sell that, then go get another quarter or half and try to sell it," said Melton.

"In other words, they don't want to take a chance of losing their product when we do something like this so they don't keep a whole bunch on them at a particular time," explained Bingham.

"Any information I receive I will check into it," said Melton in regards to receiving helpful information from the community.

"We received several phone calls on this particular individual involving trafficking. I started investigating through the investigative process and was able to obtain a search warrant," said Melton.

"We are going to be as proactive as we possibly can be here in Cleveland. This (narcotics) is something that no one wants," said Binghman.

"We don’t want it around your kids. We don’t want it around schools. We will be proactive. We are going to be out there with street level officers looking for this stuff. Our officers do a good job.

"This type of activity promotes other types of crimes to take place and that's our job, to make sure the people here are safe, that they feel safe," said Bingham.

The chief also gave credit to the citizens in aiding the department by providing helpful information.

"They provide us with a tremendous amount of information. You've got to understand these people are not going to be doing this stuff in front of police officers they are going to be doing it in front of people around town. We rely heavily on the information that is called it," said Bingham.

Bingham also stressed the importance of calling in any information to the police department, due to the fact that it aids in drug busts such as this.

"It doesn't matter how insignificant you think the information may be, if you'll give us a call we can use that. We my not be able to make an arrest that day but we can possibly use it at a later date to promote a case."

The marijuana will be sent to the Mississippi Crime Lab for analysis and then after all value of the evidence it finished it will be sent for destruction.

Harris received a $6,000 bond and according to police officials as of this morning he is still being detained at the Bolivar County Regional Correctional Facility.