TODAY: Police raid Huntington home for second time in a month

September 28, 2018

HUNTINGTON — A Huntington neighborhood’s dedication to stopping drug activity didn’t go unnoticed by city police, who raided a home for the second time in a month Thursday.

Three people were arrested Thursday after a raid in the 200 block of Gallaher Street in Huntington. Three additional people were detained and later released after police allegedly found a distributable amount of a substance believed to be heroin, methamphetamine, scales and drug paraphernalia. A surveillance DVR was also recovered and will be analyzed for further evidence.

Amber K. Clifford and Joshua L. Keaton were charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and maintaining a dwelling for drug sales. A third man was charged with misdemeanor possession of drugs.

Capt. Rocky Johnson, of the Huntington Police Department’s Special Investigations Bureau, said police began surveillance on the home a little more than a month ago. When they found evidence of drug activity occurring in the home, they gave the residents a warning: Stop or be punished.

When the activity did not stop, police raided the home 31 days ago and arrested three individuals. The group was soon back at it, Johnson said, which led to Thursday’s raid.

Johnson said the group had mistaken the drug unit’s kindness with weakness.

“It’s completely ridiculous that 30 days later we are back again, but it didn’t stop,” he said. “This neighborhood needs a break, and we are going to give it to them.”

One person arrested Thursday was also arrested in the raid last month.

The home does not appear to be a typical drug home. The outside is decorated with garden gnomes and bird feeders. Johnson said the inside was not the typical “trap house” with a blow-up mattress and 60-inch television. The home is owned by a woman arrested in Thursday’s raid.

Johnson said during both raids police found at least six to eight cameras surrounding the outside and inside of the home, including one camera over a safe in a bedroom.

“Thank God you all are here,” a neighbor walking his dog shouted as police searched the home. “As soon as you left, they started right back up. I’m glad you got them.”

Johnson said the police had received numerous complaints about the home and neighbors had even started approaching the drug unit officers directly about the activity.

“This is a quaint little street. There are very few rentals,” he said. “These people live here and probably have most of their life, and then you get one home on the block (to ruin it).”

The three arrestees were transported to Western Regional Jail in Barboursville.

Follow reporter Courtney Hessler at Facebook.com/CHesslerHD and via Twitter @HesslerHD.

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