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Resident complaints lead to drug arrests

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By Alice Du Pont

Complaints from citizens fed up with drug activity in their communities led to several arrests during the past two weeks, according to Lt. Jim Corder of the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office Vice and Narcotics Unit.

Warrants served on two trailers inside Varnadore's Trailer Park, west of Quincy, resulted in the arrest of three people. James Lovett, Yolanda NeSmith and Brittany Rentz were each arrested on charges of sale of crack cocaine. Corder said while Lovett and NeSmith lived in separate trailers, it was clear to authorities whether the two were working together.

Lovett and NeSmith were arrested and are in the Gadsden County Jail. Rentz, who was visiting NeSmith, was released on bond.

"They would sell to anyone who drove through the trailer park or who walked up. It was well known to the people there what was happening. There was a lot of traffic in and out," Corder said.

Cornell Brown of Midway has been charged with selling drugs at the Midway Stop convenience store on U.S. Highway 90 after authorities observed him making transactions, according to Corder. He said a search warrant was served at the home Brown shares with his sister on Dover Road. Brown was not at home at the time, but Corder said drugs and items consistent with the distribution of drugs were found in his room. He is charged with possession and sale of drugs.

Complaints from people at Gadsden Arms Apartments led to the arrest of Jonathan Andrews.

"Andrews had most of the drive-up drug traffic in Gadsden Arms Apartments in the Quincy city limits. We had gotten so many complaints from people in Quincy and felt that as the chief law enforcement agency, we needed to respond. We conducted some undercover sales and set up a sale at a nearby convenience store. He sold an undercover agent Ecstasy pills and cocaine. That's when we took him into custody," Corder said.

Andrews, who faces numerous drug charges, was driven to the convenience store by Brandon Ardioni, who is on parole from Leon County for felony driving with offenses. His license has been revoked for 5 years. He was also wearing an electronic monitoring device on his ankle.

Andrews is being held in the Gadsden County Jail without bond. Ardioni is out on bond.

Citizen complaints about gunshots being fired on Fairbanks Ferry Road last week near the double bridges led to the arrest of Jermane Durden of Fort Lauderdale and the confiscation of 50 grams of marijuana. Vicodin tablets (for which he had no prescription) were found on the front seat of Durden's vehicle.

Corder credits involved citizens with the recent arrests. He encouraged citizens to continue calling the sheriff's office at 850-627-9233, him directly at 850-251-5519 or the Quincy Police Department at 850-627-7111 if they have information concerning crimes or to report suspicious activity.