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Fri, Oct. 18

YCSO Special Crimes Unit shuts down drug dealing operation

During a two-day period this past week, detectives from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, Special Crimes Unit arrested five suspects YCSO linked to a drug dealing operation in Black Canyon City and Cottonwood.

On Aug. 6, detectives arrested Black Canyon City residents Michael Nelson, 43, James Troutt, 32, and Jennifer Lane, 22, on various charges including possession of dangerous drugs for sale and possession of marijuana for sale.

On Aug. 7, detectives arrested Cottonwood resident John Thompson, 27, and Clarkdale resident Ronald Drozd, 57, on numerous charges including possession and transportation of drugs for sale.

Over the past several weeks, Special Crimes Unit detectives received tips from Yavapai Silent Witness and other sources about a drug sales operation in a travel trailer inside the trailer park behind the Javelina Cantina in the 34000 block of Old Black Canyon Highway.

During a surveillance of the area, detectives saw several drug transactions involving Nelson, Troutt and Lane from the trailer and at various locations along Old Black Canyon Highway involving a red Ford Mustang registered to Troutt.

On the evening of Aug. 6, detectives detained Nelson, Troutt and Lane regarding this activity and existing arrest warrants for Troutt and Lane. They had a narcotic K9 unit at scene that alerted on the Mustang and trailer. Detectives found cocaine, with a current street value of nearly $5,000, in the center console of the Mustang.

Detectives found nearly 50 grams of cocaine, various pills, used and new syringes, glass pipes marked with the owner's names, scales, and other drug paraphernalia.

Detectives found a handwritten note entitled "People OK to sell to" listing at least 10 customers "qualified" to purchase drugs. The suspects occasionally placed the list outside the trailer to alert unqualified customers that they were not welcome. A post script on the list did say, ".... If you think your name is mistakenly not on the list, feel free to knock and figure it out."

During the investigation, detectives learned Drozd owned the Black Canyon City trailer, used it as a drop house for his drug operation and was expecting to return home from Phoenix with a shipment of methamphetamine.

On Aug. 7, Special Crimes Unit detectives found Drozd and Thompson driving a white Ford Explorer on Highway 260 in Cottonwood. They arrested Drozd, who had recently bonded out of jail, on seven felony drug charges and possession of drug paraphernalia, including numerous "bindle" baggies, a syringe, stun gun, and 35 grams of meth.

Drozd hid the packaged meth in his pants to avoid detection. A Yavapai County Sheriff's Office transportation deputy found it after Drozd dumped the drugs in the detention vehicle before entering the jail.

Deputies booked the driver of the Ford Explorer, Thompson, on five felony drug counts for his involvement in the operation.

The sheriff's office delayed a media release because aspects of the investigation continued beyond the arrest dates.

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