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Eight arrested in drug sting

Posted: Monday, February 13, 2012 4:15 pm | Updated: 4:06 pm, Wed Feb 15, 2012.

A yearlong investigation into a local drug ring has come to a close and has led to the arrest of eight individuals who were said by authorities to be trafficking drugs through the city of Albertville.

Albertville Police Chief Doug Pollard, along with representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s office, FBI and other agencies, announced the arrests of Carlos Tabera Gonzalez, Efren Ramirez Calderon, Don Mitchell Wilborn, John Calton Eller, Jeffery Wayne Baugh, Christopher David Allen, Kristie Gretchen Gauntt and Angela Nicole Otinger.

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  • y2k posted at 7:35 pm on Fri, Feb 24, 2012.

    y2k Posts: 1

    I am thinking folks have it wrong! Leaders of the group? Calderon, Gonzales. .. Otinger, Gauntt. Not.... Let me break it down for you. Baugh.. strong arm of the group.
    Willborn, money man.. Eller getting in on action.. Calderon, Gonzales, connection.

  • Bob Lyles posted at 5:47 am on Fri, Feb 24, 2012.

    Bob Lyles Posts: 6

    Meth Heads, your going to enjoy the joint.[wink]

  • JCarlosQ posted at 12:22 pm on Wed, Feb 15, 2012.

    JCarlosQ Posts: 169

    ItsMrKitou, I wasn't being cynical. I was actually surprised to hear someone speak the way you did. Most people around here hear "criminal" and try to burn them without thinking that they're talking about another person.

    I agree with you that people change. I can't really tell you what statistics say about first offenders becoming repeat offenders (I didn't feel like looking it up). But I've seen it.

    And yeah, we may share some ideology. I'm an optimist, but not a dreamer. [smile]

  • itsmrkltou posted at 11:24 am on Wed, Feb 15, 2012.

    itsmrkltou Posts: 509

    JCarlosQ, I really don't think we are all that far apart on our views judging from some of you previous post.
    I know of several kids who grew up in the same era as my child who fell into the drug world, most as 16 to 17 year old children.
    The first brush with the law brought the something drastic happening you spoke of with some of these children and today they are model citizens.
    Others, as you point out, just saw being arrested as a taste of blood and are doomed to be a burden on society until the day they die.
    It only takes a couple of trips in front of a judge to determine the category each will belong.
    I have been told by persons with knowledge of at least some of theses individuals that they do indeed belong in the latter category.
    Just give the first offenders the benefit of the doubt.

  • JCarlosQ posted at 9:34 am on Wed, Feb 15, 2012.

    JCarlosQ Posts: 169

    ItsMrKitou, really? I have to say, it's a bit poetic to believe that people will change their lives. I have not doubt that people do change, but I've only seen it happen when something drastic happened or is happening.

    People go to jail all the time, it's really no big deal for a criminal to go to jail. In fact, it's a "seal of approval" of sorts to say you've been to jail because it legitimizes your [illegal] business.
    However, and more importantly. If a criminal wanted to fix their lives they would be fighting an uphill battle that many lose. Not because of will power, but because not many businesses hire convicts. The system we live in isn't built to reward those who are "trying" to recover from criminal lifestyles.

    Anyway, we all might benefit in having the hope that ItsMrKitou seems to have. But, let's not get our hopes too high.

  • Buffalo posted at 8:06 pm on Tue, Feb 14, 2012.

    Buffalo Posts: 422

    Just an idea, legalize marijuana and make room in our prison system for hard core criminals? [yawn]

  • itsmrkltou posted at 5:55 pm on Tue, Feb 14, 2012.

    itsmrkltou Posts: 509

    Aubie, each of these eight people are going to do one of two things.
    They are either going back and start this drug cycle over again or they are going back and start their lives over again.
    It's impossible to tell just by looking at them which path they will choose and a judge will be charged with making the determination if either is likely to turn their lives around.
    Yes, the foot soldiers who conducted this operation put their lives on the line to bring these people before that judge, but I'd bet you almost anything that these foot soldiers would rather see these eight people as useful productive human beings once again rather than rotting in jail, a place where their loved ones will rot with them.
    These eight have caused a lot of heart ache and pain to a lot of innocent people, but they are all worth saving if there is any salvation left in them, especially the hot Otinger girl.

  • Aubie posted at 2:33 pm on Tue, Feb 14, 2012.

    Aubie Posts: 5

    Congrats to all enforcements involved in this drug bust. A lot of agents, officers, man hours and tax dollars went into this bust not to mention the danger these officers put themselves in. Great job !!! Now on to our wonderful court system they is where deals will be struck and the likelihood of all of these druggies serving any time at all is slim and the ones that might serve, their sentence will be so reduced, these druggies will feel they are on vacation somewhere. Our judges need to wake up and keep these guys off the streets. If the these 8 individuals are guilty and the judges lets them off the hook, look at the time and the thousands of dollars wasted.

  • shatner posted at 1:17 pm on Tue, Feb 14, 2012.

    shatner Posts: 31

    @G-ville: I thought the Otinger chick was hot too.

  • G-ville posted at 12:56 pm on Tue, Feb 14, 2012.

    G-ville Posts: 32

    I've never been arrested, so i don't know how the system works. This picture was probably taken before the effects of the meth set in.

  • Thewatcher posted at 12:20 pm on Tue, Feb 14, 2012.

    Thewatcher Posts: 108

    She looks happy because that is her drivers license picture. Police have access to everyones DL picture. Check the background on them. Some are booking. Some may even be old booking photos and not current.

  • JCarlosQ posted at 11:55 am on Tue, Feb 14, 2012.

    JCarlosQ Posts: 169

    Progress comes slow, but we should be thankful it comes.

    I've never understood how these long term investigations work. I mean, a cop can arrest a dealer for selling dope on the streets if he sees them, but it takes a who year to bring down a group? Well, it was my understanding that the purpose of these operations was to catch a "big fish", 'cause they aren't directly involved though they are literally the heads of the operation. And as one would expect, you cut the head and the body falls. Otherwise, if you're only looking for an arrest, then these operation seem like a waste of resources. Right?

    So, who's considered the heads of the operation, Gonzales and Calderon, or Otinger and Gauntt?

  • itsmrkltou posted at 10:30 am on Tue, Feb 14, 2012.

    itsmrkltou Posts: 509

    Course, can't expect her to be as purty as me.

  • itsmrkltou posted at 9:48 am on Tue, Feb 14, 2012.

    itsmrkltou Posts: 509

    You're absolutly right G-ville.
    You are the only one who thinks so!

  • G-ville posted at 8:18 am on Tue, Feb 14, 2012.

    G-ville Posts: 32

    Am I the only one that thinks the Otinger chick is pretty hot? She sure looks happy in her mug shot, maybe the photographer was flirting with her.

  • itsmrkltou posted at 7:36 am on Tue, Feb 14, 2012.

    itsmrkltou Posts: 509

    Another thing on the amount, usually these people are under surveillance for months and it takes time to gain their confidence.
    Then after many undercover buys they will go with just the best cases for court, lest one buy cannot be proved and jeopardize the whole case.
    I remember a case a few years back where police investigated a fence for stolen goods and videoed a person selling him stolen radios on eight different occasions.
    On two of those occasions the police had taken radios out of their property room that was never claimed.
    They charged him with eight counts, but because only six counts stuck, he walked on all counts.

  • CaptainJack posted at 6:59 am on Tue, Feb 14, 2012.

    CaptainJack Posts: 86

    Compared to all the meth that is coming into the area and all that the local good old boys and good old gals around here that cook themselves, 1 kilogram may not sound like much. But 1 kilogram recovered at one time is significant. Maybe what some people don't understand is that most sells of meth to individuals are in quantities of 1 gram or less. And that one gram is enough to get more than one person high. Regardless of how you cut it, 1 kilogram of meth off the street at one time makes a difference.

  • Common Sense posted at 11:07 pm on Mon, Feb 13, 2012.

    Common Sense Posts: 12

    @tomcryer. These things take time. You have to wait on indictments to come through the court system, and you want to take your time to get as many parties involved as possible. Sure, they probably could've arrested one or two from the get go, but that would've left more to continue the operation. No matter the amount of dope, or how many weapons, it's great that they are off the street. Great job to all involved!!

  • goodgrief posted at 9:44 pm on Mon, Feb 13, 2012.

    goodgrief Posts: 2

    I'm in agreement with you tom but just for facts sake.. 1 kilogram is a little more than 2.2 lbs..

  • tomcryar posted at 7:11 pm on Mon, Feb 13, 2012.

    tomcryar Posts: 696

    I don't mean to detract from the feel-good story, but less than 1 lb. really is nothing compared to what comes in, and what's manufactured locally. And this took a year?