LA VERGNE — Six people were arrested on a host of felony drug charges Wednesday morning after police raided two homes in the southwest part of town.
The busts took place at 105 Hickory St. and 213 Jefferson Pike, said Detective Sgt. Mike Mullen. The homes are located about a half-mile apart and are near the La Vergne/Smyrna border.
Arrested were Michelle "Snowbunny" Gunning, 31, of 105 Hickory St.; DaShawn Sloan, 18, of Antioch; De Ron Batey, 32, allegedly of Smyrna; Mary Jane Warren of 213 Jefferson Pike. Two juveniles were also charged.
Charges against the six include selling crack cocaine, marijuana, prescription drugs and drug conspiracy, Mullen said. Gunning faces nine felony charges and one misdemeanor, while Sloan was charged with seven felonies. Warren was charged with 18 felonies.
Mullen said detectives had been monitoring the homes for a few weeks after residents in the area called in complaints.
We'd known about them for a little while. I'd gotten into a pursuit with Sloan a couple of months earlier and he had drugs and a pistol on him. Then other names popped up, he said.
We think (Gunning) was supplying (Warren). Most of the sales and usage were taking place at the Jefferson Pike location, the detective said.
Mullen said the investigation was brought to the forefront after receiving tips that juveniles were in the homes.
It puts a little pressure on us because we want to get the juveniles out of there as fast as we can, but we have to take time to develop the case, he said. It's different when you think there are little kids being exposed to their parents smoking crack as opposed to the kids actually being the drug dealers.
Each juvenile faces 16 felonies.
Mullen said one of the women arrested watched as her 17-year-old daughter participated in a sale.
That was the most disgusting part of all this. It was like she was a mama bear looking out for her cub, he said.
Another brought her son to a deal where crack cocaine was sold, he said. A 15-year-old boy arrested was not related to anyone involved, Mullen said.
Vice Mayor Jerry Gann lives on Hickory Street and said Gunning had only been living at the house for a couple of months. He declined to say if he'd noticed any unusual traffic at the home, but said he's glad officers prevented any more drugs from entering the community.
It doesn't matter if it's my neighborhood or not, there's no room for it. It won't be tolerated, he said.
JUNE 3, 2010
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