The intrepid police of Marion are investigating the folks who live at 1225 Fourth Ave. there for drug activity following the alleged kidnapping and beating of 18-year-old Joseph Darden last month.

Overnight Sept. 13 to Sept. 14, Marion police said in an application for a search warrant of the residence that they got two 911 calls regarding a white van with four men were in possession of guns and making threats. Officers identified and questioned the people inside the van, and they told officers an occupant of the Fourth Ave. house stole money from them. Well, that was the van full of people Darden went with to buy a half pound of marijuana that night. It may also help explain why they didn’t get it.

Apparently, a resident at 1225 Fourth Ave. known as “Huffy” has been a good source for the ganja for a while, police said in the search warrant application. The house is near Vernon Middle School. Officers found some marijuana in the residence when they searched it, and a plastic straw with white powder residue in it.


Kelvin X. Louis Jr., 20, better known as “K-Lou” to his clientele, has sold “a lot” of pot out of his father’s apartment at 2981 Ninth St., in Marion, according to a search warrant of his residence. But in early May, police received a tip about the illegal activities going on there — right across from Linn-Mar High School — and got a warrant to search the apartment.

Officers served the warrant four days later and found small amounts of marijuana ALL OVER THE PLACE in his bedroom, according to the search warrant. Under the mattress, leftovers in baggies under the bed, on the night stand, in two dresser drawers. Even two baggies in his pants pocket!

You’ve gotta be nuts if you think that the kids at Linn-Mar didn’t know this guy was there. Teenagers can sniff out illegal substances just like K-9s…in fact, I think they’d do better in a contest. Anyway, he’s out of business for the time being. Louis was arrested and is being held in the Linn County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bond. One of the several charges against him is delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school.

Louis graduated from Kennedy High School last year, according to Gazette archives.

During a press conference in early March, the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy mentioned an interesting, albeit dubious, factoid about Iowa’s war on drugs — the amount of illegal drugs confiscated by the state’s drug task forces in the 2006-07 fiscal year would be enough to keep every Iowan high for at least 36 hours. I am curious about the methodology used to calculate this. But, still, interesting.

In all, the 19 regional and two statewide task forces that use Byrne-JAG grant funding ended up seizing 41.5 kilos of cocaine, 3,146 pounds of marijuana and 61 kilos of methamphetamine, just to mention a few mind-boggling numbers. And in one year! To make a comparison, put it all together and you’ve got about the weight of a Ford F250 pickup truck. The drugs seized by the task force in Davenport alone had a street value of nearly $7 million.

Eastern Iowa’s task forces have done some very impressive work that I didn’t have enough room to mention in the paper. Even though the Byrne-JAG grant pays for only a portion of most of the drug task forces salaries and equipment, with reduced — and possibly eliminated — funding from it, they might be in trouble. Everyone I talked to with the groups said there was likely no way cities and states could keep them going in the same way they do now. Education elements would be the first to suffer, so training for private companies and school programs would be cut. Fewer investigators means less gets done.

Crimes such as burglaries, robberies and assaults have been directly linked to drug use. So when drug use goes down, so do they. The drug task forces play an important part in keeping us safe by investigating large-scale drug distribution and catching many people who come into the state with drug deliveries. So lend them your support!

Yes…but it was the legal kind.

In Grinnell, police reported an officer was flagged down a couple blocks south of Grinnell College on Saturday evening by a person who said they just witnessed a drug deal. According to their police log, the two people involved consented to be searched, and the officer found they had just traded little pills of Aspirin.

Better safe than sorry, I guess.