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Deputies bust motel drug dealers

 Henderson County Sheriff's Office investigators and deputies raided an Athens motel room early Wednesday morning, Nov. 18, and arrested two methamphetamine dealers with more than two pounds of the drug, as well as a gun, and cash.

“We caught these two suspects just before they were ready to dump pounds of this horrible drug on the streets,” Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said.

Joshua Warren Pannitti, 30, of Waxahachie, and Heather Renee Cervantes, 30, of Eustace, were arrested after 4 a.m. when Hillhouse’s team raided a room at the Stay Express Inn Motel in the 700 block of Highway 31 East in Athens.

The pair had 2.2 pounds of meth, a 9mm handgun, a large amount of cash, baggies to package the drugs, and paraphernalia to ingest the contraband.

Pannitti was charged manufacture delivery of a controlled substance, penalty group one, more than one 400 grams, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. His bonds total $50,000. He is being held in the Henderson County Jail on a parole violation. 

Cervantes is charged with manufacture delivery of a controlled substance, penalty group one, more than 400 grams, possession of a controlled substance; penalty group one, less than one gram; and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. Her bonds total $58,500.

It was 392nd District Judge Scott McKee signed the search warrant for the raid and Narcotics Investigators Jonathan Hutchison, Kenneth Slaton, and Gabriel Shue took five deputies with them.

Henderson County deputies make arrests during traffic stops

From Staff Reports

Mother and son arrested with various drugs

A mother and her son were arrested and charged with possession of several drugs after a traffic stop Monday, Nov. 16, in Athens.

Deputy David Robertson stopped Raymond Loden, 33, and his mother Reina Cole, 54, for several violations.

While speaking with them, he could smell the strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from the vehicle. Both admitted to smoking marijuana in the vehicle but told him there was nothing else inside.

Deputy Robertson searched the vehicle and found a crystal like substance believed to be methamphetamine, syringe, a pipe and several colored pills believed to be ecstasy. 

Both were arrested and booked into the Henderson County Jail on matching charges of  possession of a controlled substance, penalty group one, less than one gram, and possession of a controlled substance, penalty group two, more than one gram, less than four grams; each with bonds totaling $14,000.

Deputies tase and arrest man with drugs

Henderson County Sheriff’s deputies subdued a man with a taser and pepper spray early Tuesday morning, Nov. 17, during an investigation into suspicious activity in the 800 block of West Corsicana Street.

Deric Young, 37, was arrested and charged with resisting arrest and manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance after being spotted by Deputies Jonathan Barrios and Ashley Rader, who were working narcotics interdiction near a gas station on West Corsicana Street in Athens. The deputies noted a vehicle with its lights off, backed into a parking spot in the empty lot of the closed business.

Young drove alongside the vehicle, stopped for a few seconds, and left the scene.

Deputies noticed the temporary tag on his vehicle had expired and pulled him over.

Young refused to exit his car, and struggled before being detained.

Inside the vehicle were three clear, green plastic baggies containing meth, and another container with the contraband.

He was arrested and charged with manufacture delivery of a controlled substance, penalty group one, more than four grams, less than 200 grams; resisting arrest, search or transport; expired registration; and possession of marijuana, less than two ounces. His bonds total $17,000.

A passenger in his vehicle, Kristina Marie McKelvey, 22, was charged with tampering with physical evidence and possession of marijuana, less than two ounces. Her bond is set at $7,000.

Husband and wife arrested with drugs

HCSO Deputies also arrested two passengers in a pickup truck in Gun Barrel City for possession of meth and outstanding warrants during another traffic stop Tuesday morning.

Christopher Dewayne Morgan, 36, and his wife Azzie Lee Morgan, 41, were in a vehicle that hesitated to stop when Deputy Jonathan Barrios pulled it over in the Walmart parking lot.

The deputy saw him throw several baggies containing meth out of the vehicle and arrested him for tampering with evidence; possession of a controlled substance, penalty group one, less than one gram.

She was also charged with possession or a controlled penalty group one, less than one gram.

Both had active arrest warrants.

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