LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An early morning raid on a home on Mathews Street by Lufkin Police officers resulted in the arrests of four people Friday. One of the suspects told the officers that this incident marked his 22nd arrest.
According to a press release, the raid targeted the distribution of methamphetamine.
Vernon Sparkman, 53, Molly Clark, 53, Jason Renfro, 31, and Buckie Crawford, 37, all of Lufkin were arrested after the LPD Special Response team entered Sparkman's home in the 1400 block of Mathews Street, which is off of North Timberland Drive.
"Mr. Sparkman is in custody for a felony delivery warrant" said Sgt. Travis Strickland, the commander of the LPD Special Response Team. "The female has already admitted that she lives in the residence, so where the narcotics are located inside the house will determine whether she'll be charged additionally. If it's sitting on the dining room table or in one of the community areas in the house, then she's just as much in possession of it. He may be the one selling the narcotics, but she sure is benefiting from the proceeds."
Sparkman, Clark, and Renfro were found awake inside the home, according to the press release. When the SRT members raided the house, Crawford was seen standing in the driveway, and he allegedly tried to hide in the shadows of a nearby home.
However, the SRT officers found Crawford a few minutes later and took him into custody.
Crawford allegedly told the officers that he didn't have anything illegal on him. However, a search turned up baggies of meth in his front shorts pocket, the press release stated.
When the officers arrested Clark, they found pre-packaged baggies of prescription drugs on her, and she was charged with possession of a dangerous drug, the press release stated.
"While waiting to be taken to jail, Renfro, who had warrants, asked officers to be gentle with his parents and admitted that the Friday morning incident marked his 22nd arrest," the press release stated.
Shirley Hunt, one of Strickland's neighbors, said she was asleep inside her home when she heard a loud boom outside at about 4 p.m.
"First, I was scared," Hunt said. "I just got a new meter put in yesterday, and I thought it messed up."
Hunt said when she looked out her window, she saw "a lot of flashlights and police outside."
"One man was put into an ambulance with handcuffs. Some other men were put in the police vehicles," Hunt said. "It doesn't surprise me. Eventually, I knew something was going to happen; there is a lot of traffic going in and out of the house."
According to the press release, Sparkman was taken to a Lufkin hospital to be checked out after he complained of chest pains. He was taken to the Angelina County Jail after he was given medical clearance.
Strickland said the raid was the result of a months-long investigation into Sparkman's activities after numerous Crime Stoppers tips were made about suspected drug activity at his home.
"When we start an investigation, we take a couple of things into consideration – How is it affecting the community or neighborhood that the house is in?" Strickland said. "If it is something that is causing a lot of turmoil in a neighborhood, of course we want to give that some attention as soon as we can and make a case if we can."
Anyone wanting to report possible drug activity should call Crime Stoppers at 639-TIPS. People can also submit tips online via the Crime Stoppers Web page.