Julia Roberts Goad
GILBERT - The combined effort of local law enforcement agencies led to what officers called one of the biggest confiscation of cash, weapons and other merchandise police assume was traded for drugs. But while the alleged drug dealer was dismissed in Mingo Magistrate Court, he was arrested again, and currently faces domestic violence charges in addition to drug charges.
The Mingo County Sheriff’s Department and the Gilbert Police Department arrested Tommy Mounts, 67, of Baisden, for delivery of a controlled substance and possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance late Friday.
According to the criminal complaint, a confidential undercover informant went to Mounts’ residence in Baisden, with Sgt. D. Sammons, Dept. D. Williams, Patrolman C. Haynes and Dept. Chief Nathan Glanden at a vantage spot directly across from the residence.
The informant had been given $50 that had been photocopied by police to purchase drugs, the complaint said. The informant was wired for communication with officers and given a specific code to let officers know when the drugs had been purchased, Glanden said.
Officers say observed as the informant approached the residence and spoke to the defendant on the front porch and give the money to Mounts, who walked to a building behind the house. The say after going into the building, Mounts returned to the porch where the informant was standing.
“He reached in his right front pocket,” Glanden said. “Then we saw him reach out as though he was handing something to the informant. Then the informant used the predesignated signal to let the officers know the transaction had been made.”
Glanden said all four of the officers at the scene then went to the porch and the informant handed the officers a 30 milligram Roxycodone tablet and the recording device. As Mounts was searched, the criminal complaint states, a cellophane bag containing three other Roxycodones, an Oxycodone tablet, and five Zolpidem tablet were found, all controlled substances.
Officers also found, in Mounts’ shirt pocket, the $50 that had been given to him to purchase the drugs, the complaint said. Mounts was arrested, processed at the Gilbert City Hall.
Officers then obtained a search warrant for Mounts’ house and property. Upon searching the premises, they confiscated 96 firearms, 21 of which had been confirmed as stolen by Saturday afternoon, assorted television sets, tools and miscellaneous items, five vehicles including an ATV and a motorcycle, other various drugs and $1,800 cash.
Gladen said Mounts was taken to Mingo Magistrate Court by Cpl. J. Endicott, and officers in Gilbert were inventorying the confiscated items when they received a call from Endicott informing them Mounts had been released.
Magistrate Dee Newsome released Mounts, citing there was no probable cause to hold him.
When contacted by the Daily News, Newsome said the defendant had been released due to probably cause, but she declined to give any more information and that any other information would have to wait until court opened Monday morning.
The law enforcement agencies involved were discouraged that Mounts had been released. Mingo County special investigator and former magistrate Eugene Crum said he did not understand why Mounts was released.
“As a magistrate for 10 years, I think there was sufficient evidence to hold him,” Crum said. “I read the criminal complaint, and I don’t understand it. If he would have been brought before me, he would be in jail.”
But, as fate would have it, Mounts’ experience with law enforcement was not over after he was released by Sidebottom.
Saturday afternoon, Mingo 911 received a call reporting a male had pulled a knife and held it to the his girlfriend’s throat. Police were dispatched to the address and found the call involved Tommy Mounts, who was arrested for domestic battery, domestic assault and brandishing a weapon. Mounts was taken back to Magistrate Court for arraignment on those charges by Chief Magistrate Dallas Toler.
Circuit Court Judge Michael Thornsbury ordered Magistrate Toler to review the complaint detailing Mounts’ earlier arrest on drug charges. Since those charges had been dismissed without prejudice, if Toler deemed it necessary, Mounts could be re-charged for the drug charges in addition to the domestic violence charges.
Upon reviewing the criminal complaint, Magistrate Toler did find probable cause to hold Mounts on the drug charges, in addition to the domestic charges.
At presstime, Mounts was being held on a $2,500 bond for the domestic violence charges and $100,000 bond for the drug charges. Both are cash bonds.