Four remain in jail after raid at bar

November 19, 2012

Four men remain in the Washington County jail following a raid Friday night at a Marianna bar that had been the subject of many complaints from residents living in the area.

A search warrant was executed at the J & J Hotel and Bar, 1959 Lone Pine Road. The warrant was obtained as a result of a joint investigation by the Washington County Distict Attorney’s Drug Task Force, state police, adult probation from Washington and Greene counties, state parole agents and state police liquor control enforcement. The bar was padlocked and closed as a nuissance under a temporary injunction issued Friday in Washington County court. The owner, James Durilla, faces a hearing Wednesday on the temporary injunction.

Eugene S. Sanders, 56, of Marianna, and David Brown, 37, of California. were taken into custody during the raid on drug charges. Also taken into custody on parole detainers were Victor Jones, 51, and David Housel, 37, both of Marianna. A fifth man, who was not immediately identified, was taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

In a release issued Saturday, District Attorney Eugene A. Vittone said the bar had been the subject of numerous complaints which led to the undercover operation.

Undercover detectives from the task force as well as state police started making buys in and around the bar.

“Once the detectives were working in the bar, it became clear that this bar was a base for drug sales in the Marianna area,” Vittone said, adding controlled buys were made over a period of several months.

Vittone said it was gratifying for investigators to hear the thanks from the residents Friday night.

“It was clear that the people in the small community of Marianna had enough of the drug activity that was occurring in this bar,” Vittone added.

Sanders and Brown were each arraigned before District Judge Curtis Thompson. Sanders is charged by state police with posession with intent to deliver, possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was placed in jail on $200,000 bond. Brown is charged by state police with three counts of possession with intent to deliver. He was placed in jail on $350,000 bond. Both men are scheduled for a preliminary hearing Dec. 4 before Thompson.

Anyone with additional information about the J & J Hotel and Bar or any illegal drug activity in the county is asked to call the toll-free tip line at 1-800-281-0070.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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