Cops release names of suspects in raids

LAWRENCEVILLE — Police on Saturday released details of simultaneous crack house raids in Buford this week that authorities hope will eradicate the street-level flow of drugs in the city.

During a nearly four-month investigation spurred by public complaints, undercover officers bought methamphetamine, Lortab and especially crack cocaine at three homes in the city. One unassuming home at 85 New St. was fortified to keep intruders out, with a small hole in a steel back door where transactions were made, said Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Edwin Ritter.

SWAT members used an explosive to blow through that door about 10:30 a.m. Friday, kicking off the synchronized raids that caught alleged drug dealers by surprise, police said.

A total of 14 Buford residents were arrested in Friday’s raids. Police seized a total of 6 grams of crack, 98 grams of marijuana, $1,960 and three handguns in the takedowns, Ritter said.

In addition to 85 New St., 540 Gold St. and 4231 Hamilton Mill Drive, homes at 210 Latimore Ave., 470 Charles St. and 640 Carrolls Way were targeted by police.

Here’s a breakdown of suspects:

• New Street: Cedric Buffington, 25; Sirdarius Smith, 26, and Tichina Stooghill, 25, face drug charges; Javion Buffington, 19, was arrested on a Hall County bench warrant.

• Gold Street: Tomika Wansley, 32; Quinten Wansley, 27, and William Maxey, 26, face drug charges.

• Hamilton Mill Road: Shirley Taylor, 51; Whitney Johnson, 21, and Naajia Bancroft, 21, are charged with selling cocaine. Benjamin Smith, 42, is charged with violating parole.

• Latimore Avenue: Mickey Andrew Thomas remains at large on cocaine charges.

• Charles Street: Penny Pruitt, 47, charged with selling cocaine.

• Carrolls Way: William Stanley Etheridge, 40, charged with selling methamphetamine.