LISBON - Repeated complaints about drug activity occurring at a village park finally paid off, with misdemeanor drug charges being filed against two people and more serious charges possibly to follow.
The most recent incident occurred at 8:12 p.m. Friday, when a caller reported possible drug activity going on at the basketball court next to the community pool. Police arrived to find two males getting into a parked car, and the officer recognized the driver and vehicle owner as Dawn Johnson, 19, who was known to frequent drug houses in Wellsville and was present when the Columbiana County Drug Task Force conducted a raid on a home in that community.
The two men were identified as Steven E. Boggs, 29, Annesley Road, East Liverpool, and De'Shon Pullie, 22, of Wellsville.
The officers told them about the complaint and asked to search the vehicle, and Johnson gave them her permission. At this point, Boggs reportedly said, "We are just being harassed because of some racist white people." Boggs and Pullie are black.
During the search police found a pipe used to smoke marijuana in the rear pocket of the car seat directly in front of Boggs, who was sitting in the back seat. Boggs admitted the pipe was his but was surprised it was there because he had not seen it since giving the pipe to Johnson's female friend while they were at a bar two weeks before.
"If that were mine, sir, I would have hid it from you," Boggs reportedly told police.
While being cited for possessing drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor, Boggs was asked to produce some identification. When Boggs pulled out his wallet, a small bag containing a white powdery substance fell out. Police suspect the substance to be cocaine and sent it away to be tested.
Meanwhile, a 17-year-old Lisbon boy walked from the basketball court to the parking lot. When questioned by police, the youth admitted smoking marijuana but only on weekends. He then told police there was a marijuana pipe in his vehicle and gave them permission to retrieve it. This resulted in misdemeanor drug paraphernalia charges being filed against him in county juvenile court.
"We've had numerous reports of that kind of stuff happening," said Chief Mike Abraham, who thanked the public for calling them whenever they notice any suspicious activities at the park.
He has instructed officers working the midnight shift to begin walking through the park twice per shift.