Two men face trafficking charges after agents with the Metro Narcotics Task Force arrested them outside of the Hometown Food Store on 27th Street with more than $6,500 worth of cocaine on Wednesday, reports state.
Reginald Ingram, also known as ReGial Ingram, 40, and Andrew Stafford Jr., 26, both of Columbus, face charges of trafficking cocaine and possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. Ingram faces an additional charge of possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, reports state.
Both appeared before Columbus Recorder’s Court Judge Mary Buckner on Thursday and pleaded not guilty.
According to John Memmo, an agent with the Metro Narcotics Task Force, a confidential informant spoke with officers around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. The informant said a man known as “Dope” could get him a quarter ounce of crack cocaine.
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Agents listened in on a conversation between Dope, who Memmo identified as Ingram, and the informant. The suspect said he could bring him the drugs, and they agreed to meet at the store, Memmo said.
Police learned that the suspect would be in a small, red car. They began their surveillance of the area, and they spotted a red Geo Metro pull into the parking lot, the agent testified.
Memmo said that the informant identified Ingram as the driver. Stafford was in the passenger seat, and he walked inside the store.
That’s when agents drove into the parking lot, got out of their vehicle and approached the Geo, identifying themselves as police.
“At which point he threw a plastic bag on the vehicle and said, ‘You got me,’” Memmo said of Ingram.
Reports state that Ingram had about a quarter of an ounce of cocaine worth $730 packaged for sale.
Stafford then left the store, and agents detained him. They found digital scales and powder cocaine in the passenger area of the car, leading agents to arrest him, Memmo said.
A tote bag in the back of the car had more than two ounces of cocaine worth $6,640 and more than three ounces of marijuana worth $894, Memmo said.
“Mr. Ingram was not cooperative,” Memmo said. “He did not give any statements. Mr. Stafford denied any knowledge of drugs found in the vehicle.”
Stafford, a day laborer, had $939 in cash on him. Ingram, who has no job, had $443 in cash, Memmo said.
After Memmo testified, Ingram told the judge that Stafford knew nothing about what was inside the car. Stafford concurred with Ingram.No weapons were seized, Memmo said.
Buckner ordered both men held without bond and bound their cases over to Muscogee County Superior Court.