VIDALIA, GA (WTOC) - A drug bust Friday night leads to arson. Police arrested a half dozen people and seized everything from drugs to cash to cars. Then someone set fire to the crime scene.
Detective Aaron Rollins and other Vidalia police expected to find drugs in their raid Friday night, but nothing compared to the table full of drugs guns and more they seized at 804 Martin Luther King Avenue.
"We found a lot of drugs, anything from crack cocaine, powdered cocaine, marijuana, even prescription pills," Rollins explained.
In addition, police seized thousands in cash, pistols, a rifle, five cars and three boats. They arrested six people on charges ranging from drug trafficking to obstruction of an officer.
Police say they're key members of a local gang called "the 808". Police think a trailer full of TV's, tools and other things were probably stolen. In addition to the drugs and guns and cash, police found 16 pit bulls, some just puppies, in the backyard along with all the tools to train them for dog fighting.
Rollins says they found bags of drugs buried in the yard near the dog pens. Vidalia's police chief called the raid a major blow against local drug dealers. He said almost all their crime cases trace back to drugs.
"When I say drug related, they may burglarize a place to sell stuff at a pawn shop to buy drugs," noted Chief Frank Waits. "They may be hyped up on drugs and rob a place."
Police tell WTOC the raid Friday night frightened someone enough to set fire to the house before sunrise Saturday. But Chief Waits says if the 808 gang is feeling the heat and things will only get hotter.
Police charged Neal Garnett Smith, who lived in the house, with cocaine trafficking and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. They also arrested Sharod Lamont Gaffney, Vonical McCloud and Kenneth Brownlee on the same charges. Bridgette Troupe was charged with obstruction of police.