By TIM CHITWOOD
Repeated complaints from neighbors at Greystone Farms Reserve apartments on Blackmon Road prompted the investigation that led Columbus police to arrest a couple on multiple drug charges this week, an officer testified Friday.
Cpl. Damien Jones of the police special operations unit said investigators Wednesday arrested Raymond Stanley Williams and Christina Vesga while serving a search warrant at Apartment 5303, where officers found the couple in bed.
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The search followed Greystone Properties staff inviting police into the complex with a drug-sniffing dog named Penny. Officers walked the “common areas” of the property before the dog alerted to the couple’s apartment, Jones said.
That was on Feb. 10, after police got more complaints about Williams’ dealing drugs there, said Jones, who added neighbors smelled marijuana and noticed visitors coming and going, staying only a few minutes at a time.
Jones said neighbors also complained in December and January.
While serving the warrant, police brought Penny into the apartment, where the dog alerted to a closet in the master bedroom and another in an office where computers were set up, Jones testified.
In the bedroom closet, investigators found a pink bag with white hearts containing an assortment of drugs, including 70 vials of morphine, Jones said. They also found bundles of cash packaged in shrink-wrap, he said.
In the office closet, they found a white, lidded bucket with two pounds of marijuana inside it, and in the back seat of a Chevrolet Cobalt parked outside, police found liquid Hydrocodone, Jones said.
Noting Williams’ keys included one to a rented storage unit at 4249 River Road, police took Penny there, and the dog alerted to the unit, in which officers with a search warrant found luggage containing marijuana residue, packaging materials and prescription bottles intended for patients other than Williams and Vesga, Jones said, noting the name on one bottle was a woman who had died.
Among the medications found in the apartment were muscle relaxers and drugs intended to treat bacterial infections and anxiety disorders, Jones said.
He said Vesga was a nurse in the cancer ward of the Midtown Medical Center, where she would have had access to various medications.
Among those listed in a police tally of what they seized were morphine sulfate, larazepam, hydromorphone, metronidazole, ondansetron, cyclobenzaprine, levofloxacin, promethazine, alprazolam and diazepam.
Williams, 38, and Vesga, 33, each pleaded not guilty. Williams was represented by attorney William Kendrick and Vesga by Jennifer Curry, who asked Judge Mary Buckner to allow Vesga to leave jail to care for a 6-year-old child.
Buckner did not, ordering both suspects held without bond on charges of trafficking in morphine, and setting various bonds on a multitude of other charges, including using a firearm to commit a crime. Jones said police seized a .40-caliber Glock pistol while searching the apartment.