December 11, 2012 9:44:46 AM
Jeff Clark - [email protected]
A Sunday afternoon Christmas shopping expedition landed a Columbus man behind bars, as well as removing approximately four ounces of marijuana from the city's streets.
According to Columbus Police Department Narcotics Unit Agent Don Richardson, Kelvin Robinson, 38, of 4180 Highway 373, #5A, was arrested Sunday and charged with possession of marijuana more than one ounce with intent to distribute.
"I had pulled into the Dollar General on Main Street and I was getting out of the car, when I saw someone getting out of a car," Richardson said. "I then heard the person tell the driver I was the police and he started to get back in the car.
"As I approached the vehicle, I could smell marijuana. I called for back-up and when we patted down the passenger, Brian Rushing, I found a small amount of marijuana. Robinson was the driver of the car. (Robinson) told me he had about four ounces of marijuana in the glove compartment, so we arrested Robinson without incident."
Rushing was written a citation for possession of marijuana less than one ounce. Richardson said more than $2,000 and an iPhone were also confiscated during the arrest. Robinson was released on a $2,500 bond.
Officer Eric Lewis, who assisted with the arrest, said Robinson is a mid-level dealer.
"A mid-level is someone who is not a major distributor and is not high on the drug chain," Lewis said. "But he's no nickel and dime dealer. He buys large quantities of drugs and sells them. A mid-level dealer probably has two or three people working under him."
CPD Assistant Chief Joe Johnson praised the unit for Robinson's arrest.
"Anytime we can get any amount of drugs off the streets, it's making them safer for our citizens," Johnson said. "The Columbus Police Department will always protect and serve our citizens in the highest and legal arena that is afforded under the US Constitution."
The arrest marks the first significant bust for the CPD since the Columbus-Lowndes Metro Narcotics Unit split last week. Richardson said even though Lowndes County and the city had gone their separate ways and the drug unit has been dismantled, there is plenty of work to be done.
"Just because Metro split up doesn't mean the drug traffic has stopped," Richardson said.
Lewis, whose appointment to Metro was at the center of the dispute which led to the break-up of the joint anti-drug task force, said the CPD unit is committed to stopping the drug trade in the city.
"Dope is everywhere," Lewis said. "We are going to continue to do our job. Both sides have talented, trained agents. This won't affect either side continuing to fight the drug problem in Columbus and Lowndes County."
Robinson was released Monday on a $2,500 bond. His court date is Jan. 17.