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Report of prowler at west Athens apartment complex leads to arrests of 3 on drug and weapons charges

Jamarkus Dexter Wright

By Joe Johnson

Athens-Clarke police officers who early Monday morning investigated a report of a prowler at a westside apartment complex ended up arresting three suspects on multiple drug, weapons and other charges, according to a police report.

A resident of Regency Park Apartments on Sycamore Drive called 911 at about 2:50 a.m., after her security system alerted her to activity near her front door, and upon reviewing video footage she saw a black male dressed all in black coming through her bushes and going to her front door, according to the report.

 Officers checked the back of the complex, where the report noted they located four black males in a parked Jeep.

The officer who first made contact with the suspects was Officer Torie Teets, who was back on duty only about six hours after she was dragged by a car operated by an alleged drunk driver, injuring an arm.

Athens-Clarke County Police Officer Torie Teets

After Teets saw a drug-related object on the dashboard in front of the passenger, 28-year-old Jamarkus Dexter Wright of Derby Street, she asked all four occupants to exit the Jeep, at which time Wright threw an item to the ground and ran into an adjacent apartment complex where he was caught and taken into custody by other officers, according to the police report.

Officer returned Wright to the Jeep, and when the vehicle was searched, they located in a common area assessible to all occupants several dime bags of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, a BB gun, a .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol, and $551 in cash, and “an excessive amount of drug objects,” according to the report.

Also in the Jeep was the 5-year-old son of the driver, identified as Marcus Dion Merritt, 29, of Derby Street.

The third adult occupant was identified as Armond Sanchez Mattox, 30, of Burkland Drive.

Merritt, Mattox and Wright were each charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of drug-related objects.

Marcus Dion Merritt

Armond Sanchez Mattox

Wright was additionally charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, tampering with evidence, obstruction of a law enforcement officer, giving false information and two felony probation violations.

As of Tuesday afternoon, all of the suspects were being held in lieu of bond at the Clarke County Jail, except for Wright who was not granted bond due to the probation violations.

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