2006-08-02 / Front Page

Drugs, stolen items seized at 'The Hole'

By Elizabeth Billips Associate Editor

Investigator Bobbie Jockel uncuffs a man who was detained at "The Hole" but was not arrested.         Investigator Bobbie Jockel uncuffs a man who was detained at "The Hole" but was not arrested. "The Hole" could get boarded up after police found 42 pieces of crack cocaine and five stolen air conditioners there.

Officers surprised the sleeping houseguests at 533 West 6th St. around 11 a.m. yesterday (Tuesday) after receiving a tip about stolen items.

"We got information that they were dealing stolen property out of the house," Waynesboro Police investigator Claude Wade said, "selling or trading it for drugs."

Police had been watching the four-room hang-out, commonly dubbed "The Hole in the Wall" for some time. Numerous window air conditioning units had been stolen from neighbors, and a unit had been put in nearly every window at "The Hole."

"It's going to be hot in here today without any air conditioners," Investigator Wade said as a city worker loaded them into the back of a pick-up.

Ironically, police say the stolen ACs are probably what kept the occupants from running.

With officers at both doors and every window blocked, the five houseguests had nowhere to go.

Sgt. Mike Johnson arrests Nathaniel Herrington on drug charges. Sgt. Mike Johnson arrests Nathaniel Herrington on drug charges. Four of them were detained for questioning, but were released without charges.

Nathaniel Herrington, 26, of 844 Highway 56 North, was charged with possession of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute.

Charges are pending against Cedric "Smurf" Kent, 32, who is said to own the home, but was not there during the search.

Besides the ACs, a stolen television and VCR were also recovered.

The stolen goods could help officers solve some recent burglaries, including several across the street at Burkehaven Corner Store.

Numerous cartons of Newport cigarettes were taken during those burglaries, and officers say that seemed to be the brand of choice at the hangout.

A back bedroom served as a makeshift scrapbook with photographs of numerous houseguests taped to the wall. Police say that information could prove helpful as the investigation continues.

According to Waynesboro Police Chief Karl E. Allen, officers are attempting to match up stolen goods with the owners and have already delivered an AC unit to an elderly neighbor who reported it stolen right out of her window.

Suspects are held for questioning, then released. Suspects are held for questioning, then released. Officers also hope the dilapidated house will be boarded up and condemned.

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