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March 13, 2013

Police deliver ‘wake-up call’ to drug suspect

NEW CASTLE — The law has been following Andrae Lamont Jackson for several years.

Yesterday it caught up with him with a wake-up call.

The 30-year-old Lower East Side resident was roused from his bed around 6 a.m. by police, who seized  suspected cocaine and marijuana, a gun and more than $2,900 in cash when they forced their way into his upstairs duplex apartment at 202 S. Ray St. Police carried a sealed search warrant.

Also inside were two women and 19-year-old Christopher Holmes, who was arrested on a bench warrant, according to Lawrence County District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa.

Two children, ages 4 and 8, were sleeping on the floor in the bedroom where Jackson and one of the women were sleeping.

Lawrence County Children and Youth Services social workers took custody of the children after determining the home was an unsafe environment for them.

Lamancusa said officers searching the house found 70 small bags of suspected crack cocaine, totaling 29.9 grams, with an estimated street value of $3,000. The suspected crack cocaine was found in pockets of various clothes hanging in Jackson’s closet, he said.

The bulk of the $2,901.42 in cash was hidden in the ceiling tiles of the apartment, and a loaded Glock 27 0.40 caliber pistol was found near the contraband, Lamancusa said. Various items of drug paraphernalia also were in the house, he said.

Conviction of both a gun and drug charges carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison Lamancusa said, adding that police targeted Jackson through undercover narcotics activities.

He said Jackson was living with the female who is the listed tenant, and the realtor owns the house has been notified.

According to a city police report, Jackson was the driver of a car pulled over a week ago in the Grant Street area when police charged Kenneth Stephone Hardret, 24, of Highland Avenue, with multiple drug and gun-related offenses. Hardret allegedly got out of the car and ran from the police, dropping a loaded gun and suspected cocaine en route. He is still at large.

Jackson was released from the scene at the time, but police discovered he did not have a valid driver’s license and his name was not on the vehicle lease. No charges were filed against him then.

After yesterday’s search, Jackson was charged with possession with intent to deliver, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a small amount of marijuana, endangering the welfare of children and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was arraigned by District Judge Melissa A. Amodie and is being held in the Lawrence County jail on $100,000 bond.

Lamancusa said the gun recovered had been reported missing, but it was not confirmed whether it had been stolen.

Participating in the search were members of the district attorney’s drug task force and its special investigative unit and the New Castle police narcotics bureau, its special entry team and canine unit.

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