Alleged drug dealer, girlfriend, buyers go to court
Pull a car into a driveway at 2218 Tower Court. A man with dreadlocks, nicknamed "J.D." or "Tay," exits the house. He sticks his head into a rolled-down window, and the car leaves a short time later. Repeat three times.
Once done in front of law enforcement, the alleged drug dealer and three customers have a recipe for felony drug charges.
On Jan. 31, Woodbury Public Safety and the Washington County Sheriff's Office believed they'd witnessed three drug deals, according to multiple Washington County District Court complaints.
Devonte Victor Jones, 22, of Woodbury was charged with third-degree sale of narcotics.
His girlfriend, Takeya Shada Batchelor, 21, of Woodbury, was charged with a gross misdemeanor for alleged negligent storage of a firearm at the house.
Three of Jones' alleged buyers — Andrew Matthew Kordiak, 23, of McGrath, Minn., Alexis Joy Kittrell, 22, of St. Paul, and Erik Kristian Anderson, 22, of St. Paul — have appeared in court on charges of fifth-degree drug possession.
Jones is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail with conditions or $35,000 bail without conditions and is scheduled to return to court Feb. 16.
The others, who've been conditionally released, are set to appear in court again in March.
According to the complaints:
Acting on a tip received earlier in the day, officers kept watch on Jones' residence from an unmarked squad car.
At 12:15 p.m., a sports-utility vehicle pulled into the driveway and waited for six minutes. A man in an olive green, puffy, Army-style coat emerged from the home with his hands in his pockets, bent over to the passenger's-side window, and stuck his head inside to have what appeared to be a conversation. Less than one minute later, the man walked away with his hands in his pockets, returning to the house.
An officer pulled over to the SUV. A K-9 alerted to narcotics in the vehicle, and before the vehicle was searched Kittrell, the driver, and Anderson, the passenger, admitted to possession of a syringe and spoon. But the search uncovered a bindle — 0.20 grams — of heroin stowed in a sandwich baggie under a floormat. They bought the drugs for $40, they told police.
A sheriff's deputy observed the same conduct with a red vehicle, which was stopped. Police saw two bindles of heroin on the driver's seat. Kordiak, the passenger, bought $100 in heroin, because he was "dope sick," said the driver, identified as T.L.L. He threw the drugs at the driver, during the police stop, and she denied buying or possessing drugs. A third bindle was later found in the vehicle, and the three packages of heroin weighed 0.44 grams in all.
The deputy also witnessed Jones visit a white car, handing an item to the car's passenger, a 27-year-old woman identified as M.K.O. Police stopped the vehicle and saw a baggie of heroin in plain view. A search revealed a spoon and a capped needle, commonly used to cook and inject heroin. A 26-year-old man, N.R.M., told police he's been addicted to heroin for five years and three times a week buys in Woodbury. The man and woman pooled their money to come up with $100 for heroin, two bindles of which each weighed 0.20 grams, from the alleged drug dealer who N.R.M. said he had met on a street corner in Minneapolis.
After the first transaction took place, an officer drafted a search warrant for the residence, and a judge signed it. By about 5 p.m., officers had to force open the front door to execute the search warrant.
The house smelled like burnt marijuana.
Jones and Batchelor were in the basement, where children play, and police found two Smith and Wesson Self-Defense .40-caliber handguns — one with an empty magazine in a gym bag, the other loaded with two bullets in a pink bag. Batchelor said the gun in the pink bag belonged to her. The other gun belongs to Jones, she said.
Jones had $1,426 in his pants pocket and $1,100 in his jacket pocket.
Jones and Batchelor were arrested. Jones declined to speak with officers after being read the Miranda rights.
Batchelor and her child stay at the residence, paying $125 a month in rent.
She recently learned that Jones, her boyfriend of one year, was dealing drugs and that he was on probation in Chicago for drugs.