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An increased police presence north of downtown Columbus has resulted in the arrest of a woman wanted on charges of selling crack cocaine, police said.
Stephanie Michelle Tucker, 38, of 4060 N. County Road 150E, was arrested Monday on a bench warrant charging her with two counts of dealing in cocaine, a Class B felony.
Extra patrols near 11th and Washington streets began after police received more than 1,600 calls concerning possible criminal activity in that area since January. The neighborhood produces the city’s second-most number of complaints, mostly about drugs and property crimes, police said.
An Aug. 13 public meeting addressing those concerns attracted more than 80 people, making it the most heavily attended public safety meeting in recent memory, Columbus Police Chief Jason Maddix said.
At 9:29 p.m. Monday, Columbus Police Department Patrolman Toby Combest recognized Tucker while she was a passenger in a westbound car near 11th and Pearl streets, Maddix said.
The officer followed the vehicle a few blocks until the car pulled into the Marathon convenience store at 11th and Washington, where Tucker was taken into custody, Maddix said.
According to a probable-cause affidavit, a confidential informant made two drug purchases in Tucker’s home at the Water’s Edge Apartments.
On April 4, Tucker sold less than three grams of crack cocaine for $40, while a similar buy took place eight days later, the affidavit stated.
Many experts consider crack, which is usually smoked, to be the most addictive form of cocaine, according to the Clinical Manual of Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment.
The bench warrant for Tucker’s arrest was issued early Monday by Circuit Judge Stephen Heimann. Tucker was booked into the Bartholomew County Jail at 11:13 p.m. and was still behind bars Wednesday afternoon in lieu of a $100,000 surety bond or $10,000 cash, according to jail officials.
It can take several months from the time of a drug purchase until an arrest is made, Maddix said. That time frequently is needed for laboratory drug analysis, completing the investigation, filing necessary paperwork and the consideration of formal charges by the prosecutor.
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