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Several arrests made, drugs and guns seized at Newbern rap show

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Newbern Police Chief Harold Dunivant (second from right) speaks with The Douglas Club owner Betty Beard after officers from different agencies assisted his department in the early Saturday morning saturation. Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box (right) and his deputies, TBI agents, and Dyersburg Police (Sgt. Chuck Barrineau, left) were among the numerous assisting agencies.
Patrol vehicles from different agencies line Smith Street in Newbern early Saturday morning after officers performed a saturation of the area. The TBI and Newbern Police received intelligence of possible illegal drug activity and gang presence and activity at a rap show at The Douglas Club.
A Friday night rap show in Newbern was the scene of a multi-agency operation that netted several illegal guns and a number of arrests were made.

The Newbern Police Department headed the operation and was assisted by the TBI, the Dyer County Sheriff's Office, Dyersburg Police, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Lauderdale County law enforcement, Lake County law enforcement, Tipton County law enforcement, and the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole.

According to Newbern Police, they along with the TBI received intelligence about a rap show, promoted by Prinx (sic) Thompson, coming to The Douglas Club, located at 114 Smith St. in Newbern on Friday night. The intelligence pointed to illegal drug activity and gang presence and activity were highly probable at the event.

"The information we received was those persons that were coordinating the event had similar events in neighboring counties where it was reported to be a crowd presence of 200-300 people where there were suspected, drugs, illegal guns, and gang presence at those functions," said NPD Lt. Gregg Barr.

Officers set up surveillance in the area and at the club around 11 p.m. and were able to pinpoint illegal activity taking place. At that time, the officers began their organized drug and gang saturation of the area.

"We had intelligence before the show, that we could expect some of theses illegal activities and we had surveillance on the premises that confirmed our intelligence," said NPD Lt. Rodney Wright. "We conducted a bar compliance check of the premises, which is something we do quite frequently, and we found a large number of the patrons there to be underage and were believed to be consuming alcohol."

Barr and Wright estimated around 100 people were at the club when officers arrived and began their saturation of the area. After questioning people and performing several searches, officers took several people into custody.

"We netted eight arrests, including the seizure of illegal drugs and several semi-automatic pistols, which were loaded," said Wright.

Newbern Police Chief Harold Dunivant credits the operation's success to the agencies that assisted in the saturation.

Newbern Police Lt. Rodney Wright (seated right) questions Nico Jones (seated left) after officers reportedly found a loaded semi-automatic pistol on him. Jones was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a weapon.
"I want to thank all of the brother agencies that participated in the saturation," said Dunivant, "Without their help it would have been much more difficult to execute the operation safely. This was done while Friday's shooting of police officers in Memphis was still fresh on the minds of all of us and we wanted to make sure nobody got hurt and this was done in a safe and professional manner. The illegal guns we confiscated will be off the streets of Newbern and Dyer County and they won't fall into the hands of criminals to be used in illegal activity."

Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box also noted the effectiveness of the operation and said it was a common response to such a situation.

"This operation went very smoothly," said Box. "During this time of the year people can expect walkthroughs of any bars and bar checks throughout the holiday season. This is a deterrent in the abuse of alcohol, illegal drugs, and gang activity."

Wright noted Newbern investigators would also continue a joint investigation with the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole and possibly more arrests could result from it.

"If the facility's primary purpose is to serve and consume alcohol on the premises, probationary rules state people on probation cannot be there," said Wright. "We had some people at the club that may be in violation of their probation."

The suspects arrested were:

* Anthony Gooch, 27, 209 Bowen Lane, Dyersburg, Tenn., was charged with possession of marijuana.

* Donald Wesley Jr., 31, 802 Woods St., Dyersburg, Tenn., was charged with possession of marijuana.

Newbern Police Chief Harold Dunivant (right) and NPD Lt. Greg Barr (left) search a vehicle during the saturation. The operation resulted in eight arrests and the seizure of illegal drugs and several illegal weapons.
* Thomas Frankie Williams, 25, 712 Keats St., Dyersburg, Tenn., was charged with public intoxication and disorderly conduct. He had to be tased during the incident and was also charged with resisting arrest.

* Marcus Hayes, address unavailable, was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon.

* Devanti White, 622 McLean St., Dyersburg, Tenn., was charged with criminal impersonation. He also had a fugitive from justice warrant out for his arrest from Illinois.

* Nico Jones, 24, 11100 Tucker St., Dyersburg, Tenn., was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon.

* Glynn Powell Jr., 52, 1624 Lake St., Dyersburg, Tenn., was charged with arrested on child support warrant.

* Melvin Russell, address unavailable, was charged with possession of marijuana.

Barr summarized the operation as the Newbern Police department's response to illegal activity.

"When big-city drug, gun, and gang-type violence comes to our small towns this is an example of how we are going to reach out to our neighboring brothers in law enforcement to deter, prevent, and combat any types of these activities," said Barr.

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great job! these are the type of pro-active law enforcement measures that should be of great benefit in getting these activities eliminated from our community. especially getting these semi-automatic guns off the streets; away from people who are drinking; under the influence of drugs, and preventing the type disaster that just took place @ that elementary school in conn.

-- Posted by closerlook on Tue, Dec 18, 2012, at 8:16 AM

Glad to see the cops and other agencies doing something to get these thugs off the streets! This so-called club should be shut down for good. Allowing underage drinking, and drugs there. Not to mention the loaded weapons! You know that the club owner(s) knew these thugs were up to no good. If a fight had broke out imagine the shooting that could have taken place!

-- Posted by Dude2010 on Tue, Dec 18, 2012, at 12:48 PM

So are we to believe that drugs, gang activity, illegal guns, and other uncivilized behavior occurs at a rap show? Say it ain't so, I was under the impression that the only type of people that went to these rap shows were the future doctors, physicists, rocket scientists, and engineers. Well, what do you know, learn something everyday, LOL Good job police agencies.

-- Posted by liveshere on Tue, Dec 18, 2012, at 3:56 PM

Rap show in Newbern... haha... small town wannabees.... Good training for the police... Maybe they will have another show, so the police can get the rest of these dummies off the streets...

-- Posted by DMASE on Wed, Dec 19, 2012, at 1:06 AM

thatwas a good thing the officers done it wont clean up the city but its a good start.

-- Posted by toughlove on Wed, Dec 19, 2012, at 8:25 PM

the truth, their was no underage drinking going on inside the club,and most of the arrest were made outside not in the club.a few people didnt have ids but were not served.the police did there job and that is expected.but you shouldnt blame a whole area for a few dumb people.if a person is 21 they have a right to go where and do what ever they want as long as its legal.and in closing there hasnt been a shooting in thoses clubs in years.so dont belive everything you read.

-- Posted by roshelle72 on Sat, Dec 22, 2012, at 2:53 PM

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