Three suspected players in the local heroin trade were arrested Thursday night during three separate search warrant executions.
Agents of the Major Crimes Task Force simultaneously converged on three separate Marietta houses around 10 p.m. Thursday evening, finding heroin residue and drug abuse instruments in two houses and unprescribed Percocet pills in the third, said Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks.
Arrested were Brian K. Streight, 46, of 221 Sixth St.; Robert J. Becker Jr., 68, of 213 Meigs St.; and Gary L. McFadden II, 42, of 210 Fifth St.
Top row, left to right: McFadden, Becker
Bottom row: Streight
"They all know each other. They all have priors," said Mincks.
The men had been under surveillance for some time and the task force had an indication that more heroin would soon be arriving, said Mincks.
"Our intelligence sources were telling us that heroin was hard to get right now for the addicts and these are some of the primary locations it comes to," he said.
However, very little heroin was found in the houses, leading officers to believe the shipment had been used or had not yet arrived, he said.
But McFadden, who was arrested and later posted bond for a felony drug possession charge and misdemeanor charges of drug possession, drug paraphernalia possession, and possession of drug abuse instruments, said Friday the arrests were unjust and improperly handled.
McFadden alleged that the Washington County Sheriff's Office failed to show anyone at his home a search warrant.
"They didn't read me my rights. They didn't tell me what I was being arrested for," he said.
McFadden also accused task force agents of kicking his girlfriend in the head, threatening to shoot his dog, taking money from his wallet without leaving a receipt, and eating his snack cakes.
"I feel like they were way out of line," he said.
Mincks said the sheriff's office takes complaints of misconduct seriously, but doubts the validity of McFadden's complaints.
"We will investigate it and I will see what happened," he said.
He suggested McFadden file an official, signed complaint.
In addition to his complaints of misconduct on the part of the officers, McFadden also said that agents did not find drugs in his home.
"The just found residue. They didn't find no drugs," he said.
Syringes, which were taken from a safe in his house, belonged to a diabetic friend, said McFadden, and were used for insulin injections.
Besides the syringes, agents found spoons, marijuana pipes, straws with drug residue, cotton balls, metal filters, a digital scale and multiple marijuana roaches in McFadden's house, said Mincks.
"The spoons, which tested positive for heroin residue during field tests, were enough to justify a felony drug charge and the marijuana roaches enough to justify the misdemeanor charge," he said.
Similarly, Becker was charged with felony drug possession for heroin residue found on a pocket knife at his residence, said Mincks.
Becker also received a misdemeanor charge for possession of drug abuse instruments because a search of his home turned up a shoe lace, syringes, and razor blades -all commonly used for heroin use, said Mincks.
Streight was also charged with felony drug possession after agents found 23 Percocet pills in an eyeglasses case in his home. Streight did not have a prescription for the pills, which are a Schedule II drug, said Mincks.
Despite not finding a large amount of heroin on the properties, Mincks said he has no doubts that the three are players in the local drug trade.
"They will get together and pool their money and any one of the three could go up and make a score. Depending on who paid what, they distribute it. They sell some to accumulate money for their next trip," he said.
And while there was a small amount of drugs in the houses, tools like syringes, spoons, metal strainers, digital scales and more indicated that there had recently been a lot of drug usage there, he said.
McFadden and Becker are both free after posting $3,250 bond. Streight was released after posting $2,500 bond.