The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

October 6, 2010

Police arrest two for drugs during bust stop bust

OTTUMWA — A citizen’s tip led police to two drug arrests Tuesday.

Around 2:20 p.m., the Ottumwa Police Department received a citizen’s report of a possible drug deal occurring at the enclosed bus stop shelter at Main and Market streets, according to a release from the Ottumwa Police Department.

Responding officers found two men inside the bus stop in possession of a substance believed to be marijuana. Officers arrested Justin Eugene Merchant, 26, of no known address in Ottumwa, as well as William Steven Gene Fisher, 19, 424 N. Court St.

Both were taken to the Wapello County Jail:

“This is a perfect example of the community and the police working together to make downtown a safer place for everyone,” said Ottumwa Police Chief Jim Clark. “Drug dealers, thieves and vandals are being put on notice that the community won’t tolerate their criminal behavior in the downtown area anymore.”

Fisher has been charged with prohibited acts: possession of marijuana, a serious misdemeanor.

Merchant has been charged with prohibited acts: possession of marijuana at the level of a Class D felony and possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.

“This is just the beginning,” said Clark. “We’re increasing enforcement downtown, including placing an officer on foot patrol during the day. I expect more arrests until these people finally get the message and stop their criminal acts.”

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