Alert K Mart security agent aids police in drug busts www.privateofficer.com
Tallmadge OH June 14 2011 – Four Akron residents are due in court later this month after they were arrested in April near the South Avenue Kmart for allegedly producing meth in a vehicle.
Tabatha Karam, 29, Bryan Adkins, 21, Steven Semuga, 23, and Ashley Warner, 20, have all been charged with the illegal manufacture of drugs, a second-degree felony, and the illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs, a third-degree felony. Karam was also charged with driving under suspension, a first-degree misdemeanor.
According to Summit County court records, the four pleaded not guilty after their May indictment. They all have their next court dates scheduled during the week of June 20 at the Summit County Court of Common Pleas.
Lt. Ron Williams, Tallmadge Police public information officer, said police were initially tipped off about the suspects by Kmart security.
He said a security officer became suspicious of two men April 11 after they purchased a slew of products associated with the production of methamphetamine, including large quantities of pseudoephedrine.
“Then what really got his attention was the way they walked straight across the street to CVS,” said Williams.
Police confirmed the suspects purchased the chemicals via the MethCheck software program, then went to the scene and began observing the suspects.
Officers observed the men leave the drugstore and return to their vehicle still parked at Kmart, where the two women were.
Considering the circumstances and the two men’s behavior, officers initiated a traffic stop based on “reasonable suspicion” of the suspects, Williams said.
When officers pulled the car over, the chemicals they were looking for were in plain view.
A search of the vehicle turned up other materials used for making meth in the trunk including: coffee filters, several boxes of pseudoephedrine, drain opener, aluminum foil, 32-ounce plastic bottles, lithium batteries, lantern/ camp fuel, tape and rubber gloves.
The materials, said Williams, are used for “smurfing” meth — the street term for preparing the drug. The plastic bottles are used to make methamphetamine via the “shake and bake” method, he said.
Williams said police also recognized at least one of the men for prior meth convictions — according to court records, Semuga has been convicted of meth-related charges in the past.
Williams praised Kmart security for tipping off police, which led to the arrests.