By Joe Johnson
Athens-Clarke County police recently arrested a known gang member who was in possession of marijuana and a gun.
According to police, Siderious O’Neal Heard, 20 of Chalfont Lane was arrested Friday night at Rolling Ridge Apartments for possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
Heard was the seventh gang member to be arrested in the first three weeks of December.
The previous arrests occurred at the Athens Gardens apartment complex, and were part of an investigation by ACCPD’s Gang Unit, the Northeast Georgia Regional Drug Task Force and the FBI's Safe Streets Gang Tasl Force, in an initiative to target criminal gang activity in the county.
Heard was arrested as the result of officers who were conducting foot patrol at Rolling Ridge at about 7 p.m. Friday, when they smelled marijuana as they approached a Hyundai Accent, in which Heard was the only occupant, according to ACCPD Public Information Officer Lt. Shaun Barnett.
“Upon walking up to the vehicle, an officer observed suspected marijuana and a handgun in plain view inside the vehicle at which point a probable cause search was conducted,” he said. “Officers located approximately eight ounces of suspected marijuana and packaging material.”
Police were withholding the identity of the gang with which Heard was affiliated.
“Investigators have ongoing investigations regarding several criminal street gangs,” Barnett said. “In an effort to not compromise the integrity of those investigations, we are not releasing details about specific gang affiliations."
As it continues to address street gang activity and gun violence, ACCPD is encouraging members of the community to report tips concerning criminal gang activity by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 706-705-4775.