‘Knock, knock! It’s your neighborhood WMPD!’
Criminals tell police to ‘Come on in,’ get arrested on drug, weapons charges By the Evening Times News Staff
If you are convicted felons and you find yourselves in possession of firearms as well as illegal drugs and a considerable amount of suspicious money, it might be a good idea to know who exactly is on the other side of the front door before saying, “Come on in!”
As television character Gomer Pyle would say, “Surprise! Surprise!” Because when the front door opened, who came in? It sure wasn’t Deputy Barney Fife, but none other than West Memphis police officers responding to a call from a neighbor reporting the men running into a house at 322 S. 10th St. carrying guns.
It all began shortly after 10:30 p.m. last Wednesday, when initially two police officers arrived at the address.
One of the officers said he attempted to make contact with the occupants by simply knocking on the front door at which time one of the men said, “Come on in,” which he did, Assistant Police Chief Robert Langston said.
Once inside the doorway the officers immediately saw two of the men sitting on opposite sides of the couch along the north wall, each with a firearm in their hands. He also observed one of the men holding what appeared to be marijuana wrapped inside a paper bill.
“As expected, the officers immediately unholstered his weapon and started giving verbal commands to the two men to drop their weapons and put their hands above their heads,” Langston said.
While one of the men simply dropped his weapon as ordered the other man threw his weapon against the north wall before placing his hands in the air. The two men were then ordered to exit the residence one at a time slowly, Langston said.
Once outside one of the men, later identified as Justus One Smith, 31, of 1701 Scottwood St., West Memphis, was taken into custody by backup officers surrounding the house.
It was then that officers observed a woman, later identified as Gwendolyn Patterson, 57, walk from the rear room toward the living room at which time she was ordered to place her hands above her head, which she did.
The second man, later identified as Joe Lee Hodges, 29, dropped his hands and ran into the kitchen toward the back door and as he went out the door he was met by another officer who ordered him to get on the ground with his hands behind his back.
Langston said Hodges physically and verbally refused to comply requiring
Once officers determined there were no other occupants inside the residence they observed a quantity of white substance sitting on a living room table next to a stack of money. Officers also located multiple clear baggies containing an unknown white substance sitting on a table with a scale next to another stack of money.
Langston said there was a considerable amount of money spread across the couch next to a loaded semi-automatic pistol.
Two other firearms were also taken as evidence.
The three suspects were immediately taken into custody by narcotics detectives who later determined all three suspects were convicted felons. They have been charged with possession of meth or cocaine for the purpose to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of firearm by certain persons and simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, all felonies.