Six different accused drug dealers were charged in three separate incidents last week in Oneida, according to warrants.
In one incident, on Tuesday, Sept. 12, a couple were charged with possessing methamphetamine for resale after they claimed that what they actually had was salt that had been bagged to look like meth as a gag joke. The same day, two men were charged with possessing marijuana for resale. And, on Thursday, two men were charged with both drugs and weapons charges.
In the first incident, a Winfield couple were arrested and charged with possession of meth for resale and felony possession of drug paraphernalia.
Jonathan Luke Muse, 30, and Christina M. Muse, 27, both of Winfield, were arrested after Oneida Police Department investigator Bill Miller, who is assigned to the 8th Judicial District Drug Task Force, and OPD patrolman Chad Jones conducted an investigation at the couple’s Melinda Lane home.
Miller wrote in warrants that he received consent to search the residence and found a baggie containing what appeared to be meth. The Muses allegedly told Miller that the bag actually contained salt, which had been packaged like meth for resale as a gag or joke.
However, officers also found a plate used to snort pain pills off of, a set of digital scales, and numerous resale baggies, along with pipes and cut-off straws. Additionally, some of the baggies allegedly tested positive for meth.
Both suspects were taken into custody at the home.
The same day, two men were arrested at Oak Park Apartments after allegedly being found selling marijuana.
Caleb R. Orick, 19, the apartment’s leaseholder, and Christopher L. Strunk, 30, a Winfield man who was also present at the apartment, were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana for resale.
According to warrants filed by OPD patrolman Toby Jeffers, an anonymous tip had been received that someone at the apartment was selling and using drugs. Upon his arrival at the residence, Jeffers wrote, Orick allowed him in, and attempted to hide a marijuana bong.
Jeffers wrote that both suspects had been using marijuana, and that Orick showed him some marijuana in a popcorn can.
Along with 14 grams of marijuana that had been packaged for resale, Jeffers allegedly found marijuana seeds, a shredder, and scales, along with several resale baggies.
Orick allegedly admitted that he had been selling marijuana “to several people,” and had a ledger showing his sales. Strunk allegedly gave Miller, who was assisting Jeffers at the scene, consent to look at his cell phone, which allegedly contained messages showing that he was helping Orick sell the marijuana.
Both men were arrested.
On Thursday, two Oneida men were arrested after being found in possession of drugs during a traffic stop.
The men — Michael A. Hernicz, 29, and Christopher M. Austin, 19 — were charged with possession of Schedule II and Schedule IV drugs for resale, felony possession of drug paraphernalia, violation of the Drug Free School Zone Act, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
According to warrants filed by OPD patrolman Dustin Laxton, a 2002 Ford Fusion, driven by Hernicz, was stopped for a headlight violation, and both Hernicz and Austin were “very nervous.”
While Hernicz refused consent to search the vehicle, Scott County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Officer Daniel Garrett was called to deploy his drug dog on the vehicle, which alerted officers to the driver’s side door.
There, officers allegedly found a small white box containing crystal meth and Xanax bars, along with bags, a hollow pen shaft with a white powdery substance, a marijuana bong, and a derringer pistol.
Both men were arrested and transported to the Scott County Justice Center in Huntsville for booking.