Thursday, September 23, 2010

Three men were arrested early Tuesday after Carroll police crashed an alleged meth deal in a convenience store parking lot.

Chief Jeff Cayler said an off-duty Carroll County Sheriff’s Office deputy learned of the transaction by overhearing one of the suspects making several phone calls in an attempt to purchase drugs.

Knowing the deal had been arranged for the Eastside Shell parking lot at 1515 Plaza Drive on the east edge of town, officers positioned themselves nearby, observed two vehicles pull into the lot about 1:20 a.m., watched the alleged drug sale occur, then arrested the three participants without incident, Cayler said.

The Sheriff’s Office charged Matthew John Kramer, 36, and Jason Dean Smits, 28, both of Jefferson, with possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

Criminal complaints filed in Carroll County Magistrate Court say Kramer and Smits had an electronic scale, a large volume of packaging materials and a small plastic bag containing methamphetamine residue. The suspects were also seen “making furtive movements,” attempting to conceal illegal materials, as police officers stopped their car, according to the complaints.

The Police Department charged Phillip Mark Rice, 55, of Auburn with possession of a controlled substance and driving while intoxicated.

Possession of meth with intent to deliver is a Class C felony punishable by up to 10 years in state prison and a $50,000 fine.

Kramer and Smits made initial court appearances on Tuesday. Magistrate A. Eric Neu set bond for each at $13,000 and ordered them to obtain substance-abuse evaluations, submit to drug testing and to remain under supervision of the 2nd Judicial District Department of Correctional Services should they be able to post bond.

Kramer and Smits remained in Carroll County Jail this morning.

Rice also appeared in court Tuesday. Neu set his bond at $1,000, and Rice posted and was released.

Preliminary hearings were scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 30.

Cayler said police “have no idea whatsoever” how long Kramer and Smits had been allegedly dealing meth in Carroll.