Cops find 30 bags of cocaine, 73 pills, cash, after chase


By Joe Gorman

jgorman@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A man who police said had 30 bags of suspected cocaine and 73 pills in his car Monday evening has been to prison twice on felony drug charges and is wanted on a warrant for skipping a pretrial date in a pending drug case.

Devin Towns, 40, of Lakewood Circle, is in the Mahoning County jail on charges of aggravated trafficking in drugs, four felony counts of possession of drugs, fleeing and eluding, obstructing official business and two warrants from common- pleas court for skipping a pretrial date June 25 in a case where he faces felony charges of possession of cocaine and possession of drugs. He also faces several traffic and misdemeanor charges.

He is expected to be arraigned on the new charges in municipal court today.

He was arrested about 7:45 p.m. Monday after officers Anthony Trimble and Mark Sember saw that the car he was driving on Marmion Avenue on the South Side did not have a rearview mirror.

Reports said when the officers tried to pull the car over, Towns refused to stop immediately but did pull over near Marmion and South avenues. When the officers got out of the cruiser and walked up to the car, it drove away, however, reports said.

Trimble and Sember chased the car until it stopped suddenly at East Florida Avenue and Rush Boulevard, and Towns jumped out of the driver’s seat and tried to run away. He managed to scale a fence before falling down near the intersection, where he was arrested.

Reports said when he was searched police found a bag of suspected cocaine, two bags of suspected marijuana and cash on him. When his car was searched, 30 more individually wrapped bags of suspected cocaine were found in three different places, including some in a backpack. Also found were 15 Adderall pills, 16 oxycodone pills, 42 other pills, four suboxone strips, four cellphones and more cash, making the total cash Towns had on him at $564.

The current case he faces in common-pleas court stems from a Sept. 12, 2014, arrest where he was caught in a car at East Lucius Avenue and Rush Boulevard with a bag of crack cocaine, 10 pills in his shoe and $890 in cash.

Court records show that in 2009, Towns received probation after a guilty plea to a felony charge of possession of cocaine. He violated his probation with a 2011 guilty plea to two felony counts of possession of cocaine, however.

He received 17 months in prison in that case and got 10 months in prison on the parole violation. Both sentences were served concurrently.

Records show Towns was granted judicial release from the 2011 case and was arrested on drug charges in 2012. His judicial release in that case was revoked, and he was sentenced to a year in prison in 2013 after he pleaded guilty to charges of possession of drugs and possession of cocaine.

In the 2011 case, Towns was also ordered to forfeit $1,289 that he had on him when he was arrested. With the amount of money he was caught with in 2014 and the amount of money found Monday, police have now seized a total of $2,343 from him.

Police Chief Robin Lees praised the actions of Sember and Trimble, two younger officers who recently joined the force. Trimble was hired in June, and Sember joined the department in January 2015.

“These are two young officers being very proactive. That’s what we like to see,” Lees said.

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