Five people were arrested in the past four days in Beatrice, the result of a Southeast Agencies Drug Task Force sweep that has encountered a drug not known to have been distributed widely, in the past.
Beatrice Police Lieutenant Mike Oliver says some of the suspects have been arrested on suspicion of distributing the drug, Opana, a time-release form of Oxycontin.
Lt. Oliver says the first place the drug has been seen in SEADE’s multi-county investigation territory, is Beatrice.
Oliver says officers arrested 23-year-old David Stewart during a Saturday afternoon traffic stop, when an officer knew there was a warrant for his arrest. At 5 AM Monday, officers executed a search warrant at a home and arrested 31-year-old Thomas Harms.
A search warrant for another home resulted in the arrest of 30-year-old Dale Johnson, Junior, at about 7 AM, while 22-year-old Howard McBurnett was arrested a short time later. Oliver says 23-year-old Toni Carlson was arrested at Mosaic, where she worked.
Four of the arrests happened in about a five-hour span, Monday morning. Officers seized some drug paraphernalia at Johnson’s house.
The five suspects are charged with distribution of an exceptionally hazardous drug, Opana, distribution of marijuana, or aiding and abetting a felony. Appearance bonds set in Gage County Court range from $10,000 to $75,000.
Further hearings are scheduled for August 4th. The charges of distributing Opana carrying a possible prison term upon conviction, of up to 50-years.
Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice