Saturday, November 19, 2016

Observant security officer leads police to drug bust at Read House Historic Inn and Suites

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. Nov 19 2016— Chattanooga Police say officers have arrested a total of 7 people after an incident at the Chattanooga Read House, at 827 Broad Street.
Police say early Friday morning security at the hotel notified Chattanooga Police of suspicious activity in the building.
CPD patrol officers were notified by investigators that a person with outstanding warrants booked a room.
Officers made entry into the room and say they discovered 6 ounces of Ice (crystal meth), $26,000 cash and 2 loaded weapons.
Lt. Jerri Sutton, with the Chattanooga Police Department, says for police to walk into something like this is pretty unusual.
"Most of the time you get street level recoveries of maybe a few ounces, a few joints, or maybe a few lines of cocaine, or maybe even a small bottle of meth - but we're talking about bags," Sutton said.
Officers took seven people into custody, and say five of them are previously convicted felons and at least 4 are known methamphetamine traffickers.
Chattanooga Police say they want to thank the observant and extremely cooperative staff at The Read House for noticing the suspicious activity, immediately notifying police and working with our officers in this ongoing investigation.
Read House General Manager Ken Merkel says he's "extremely proud" of his security guard alerted who alerted police to this.
"He has only been an employee here for a couple of weeks. We just added the overnight security very recently so we're really pleased that it's been effective," Merkel said.
Merkel says the security guard is a former police officer.
For the last few days, the security guard noticed suspicious activity in the lobby, and a lot of traffic going in and out of one of the hotel rooms.
Merkel says this is the first time anything like this has happened and they're hoping it's the last.

"We're extremely pleased that our security was that alert and diligent - that they were able to determine that something was off," said Merkel.

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