Habitual drug dealer arrested again

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 22, 2006

AHOSKIE – Apparently, some have a tough time grasping the idea that illegal drugs are just that n illegal.

An Ahoskie man who has several drug arrests to his credit had another brush with the law here Friday.

Elton Montez Ridley, 31 of 515-A North Catherine Street, was placed under a $20,000 secured bond for possession with intent to sell and deliver crack cocaine. Approximately 5.6 grams was discovered in a bag Ridley allegedly tossed into the back seat of a vehicle driven by a female acquaintance.

Ironically, the incident occurred when Ahoskie Police Officer Andres Snape was attempting to locate Ridley and serve a Hertford County Grand Jury indictment stemming from his arrest on March 17. In that indictment, Ridley stands charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver crack cocaine, simple possession of marijuana, maintaining a dwelling for the purpose to sell a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh, Officer Snape spotted Ridley at around 4 p.m. on June 16 in the Catherine Street area.

“Officer Snape, upon approaching Mr. Ridley, advised he had court papers to serve on him,” Fitzhugh said.

At that point, Ridley asked Officer Snape is he could walk over to a vehicle operated by the female in order to give her his wallet and cell phone.

“It was at that point where Officer Snape observed Mr. Ridley go into his front right pocket and toss something into back seat of vehicle,” Fitzhugh said. “Officer Snape leaned over to see what was thrown and noticed a plastic bag containing a white, rock like substance.”

Snape immediately placed Ridley in handcuffs and ordered the female to unlock back door. Chief Fitzhugh said statements were then made by Ridley in an effort to stop Snape from looking into back seat.

Officer Snape called for assistance. While waiting, Snape’s report showed Ridley continuing to make statements to prevent the officer from searching the back seat of the vehicle.

“Mr. Ridley complied to the search after (APD) Sgt. Michele Garrett arrived,” Fitzhugh said.

Snape retrieved the plastic bag. No other drug contraband was discovered in the vehicle.

“I commend Officer Snape for his work in this case,” Fitzhugh said. “He was extremely observant and then used good judgment to not let this incident boil over emotionally. He patiently waited for his back-up to arrive and then brought this to a close in a professional manner.”