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Kennett, MO

Largest Crack Cocaine Bust in the Bootheel

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Largest Crack Cocaine Bust in the Bootheel
By: CJ Cassidy

KENNETT, Mo. - Kennett Police make their biggest crack cocaine bust ever.

An officer patrolling the Federal Housing Authority noticed a man barred from the area.  When he tried to talk to him, it ended up in a chase and the big bust.

Police say they're glad police keep an eye out for trouble.  Many people say they live in the housing authority because they can't afford to move anywhere else, and the last thing they need is something else to worry about.

"When we first moved here we came here from Pennsylvania, and we were kind of struggling," 21-year-old Shari Harty said. 

She and her husband had to find a place to raise their baby boy, and get ready for another on the way.  The Federal Housing Authority in Kennett afforded them a place to do just that.

"This was a good choice for us, because they base it on your income," Harty said.

Like other parents there, Shari's glad police tracked down Alfred Thomas Fisher.

"For the safety of the children, maybe they'll be outside playing and you never know who's going to come up or anything like that," she said.

Officers say Fisher led them on a chase that ended with police making the biggest crack cocaine bust in the Bootheel with a street value of $ 25,000.

"I saw the man getting in his vehicle at that address, and I was getting word he was a convicted felon," Lt. Gordon Crawford with the Kennett Police Department said.  He lived in the housing authority as a child.

"When they first initiated the housing program it was a different type of crime here.  It was more violent, and it wasn't a very good place," Crawford said.

Now Crawford patrols the area with a list that tells him who to keep out.

"Convicted felons, anybody with a drug arrest, anybody who's uncooperative with the police or housing authority," he said.

"There are good people who live here and we want to keep them here.  The housing authority and ourselves, we have a contract we have to live up," Chief Barry Tate said.

Shari Harty says that's the kind of community policing she wants to see.

"Cops come out and you see them riding through checking on everything," she said.

Incidentally, Lt. Crawford won the Regional Award for 2007's Peace Officer of the Year for his work at the Federal Housing Authority.

Meanwhile, police say Fisher violated his parole when he entered the housing area.  He's currently being held in the Dunklin County Jail.

Federal charges are also pending against him.

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