Police arrest 6 for meth, heroin

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By SHELLY WILKISON

A traffic stop initiated by Liberty Hill police this week resulted in the arrest over the course of three days of six people for possession of methamphetamine, heroin and drug paraphernalia.

Amber Skloss, 33, and Elizabeth Lewis, 48, both of Liberty Hill, were arrested during a traffic stop Monday afternoon after officers discovered heroin, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in a purse in the center console of the 2003 Ford Expedition registered to Lewis, who was a passenger in the vehicle.

Chief Maverick Campbell said Monday’s traffic stop led to the execution of a narcotics search warrant at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday at the women’s residence at 110 Independence Drive. There, Liberty Hill police arrested David Davis, 50, Walton Haner, 60, and Travis Stepp, 43, and charged each with Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 1 — less than 1 gram of methamphetamine and less than 1 gram of heroin.

Skloss, Lewis, Davis and Haner were all said to be residents of the house. Stepp was sleeping there, but police said he did not reside there.

On Wednesday, police arrested Allen Moore, 39, of Liberty Hill in connection with Tuesday’s warrant. He was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance and tampering with or fabricating of evidence. Preliminary bond is set at $25,000, Campbell said.

Campbell said officers “knocked and announced” themselves upon arrival at the house Tuesday morning. Officers breached the door when there was no response.

He said suspects, who did not resist arrest, were found in the house and sleeping in multiple storage out-buildings on the property.

“This residence has been the subject of complaints of odd behavior, of people being under the influence of drugs and narcotics, disagreements with neighbors, short tempers. It’s been a big area of concern for the neighborhood — up until today,” Campbell said. “Our first priority has been to protect the residents in the neighborhood.”

Campbell said officers stopped the vehicle about 3:22 p.m. Monday after observing the driver (Skloss) fail to utilize a turn signal when entering the highway at a high rate of speed. As officers approached the vehicle, they detected the odor of marijuana. LHPD called for a K-9 unit from Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, which alerted on the driver’s side of the vehicle.

Campbell said although no marijuana was found, drug paraphernalia was present in addition to the methamphetamine and heroin.

In addition to the methamphetamine and heroin found at the house, Campbell said officers found more than 1,000 syringes and other paraphernalia “consistent with the use and packaging of controlled substance.”

He said there was no indication that those arrested intended to sell or distribute the narcotics. No firearms were found at the house, nor in the vehicle.

The Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 1 is a State Jail Felony, which is punishable by confinement in a state jail for up to two years and by a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Campbell said the investigation is ongoing.

Six of the police department’s officers were involved in the execution of the search warrant Tuesday morning. Sheriff’s deputies provided scene security, Campbell said.

Campbell commended his officers for their performance. Because the residence contained numerous out-buildings, multiple officers were needed to execute the warrant.

At press time Wednesday night, Skloss remained in the Williamson County Jail with bond set at $15,000 for each of two counts of possession. Lewis posted two $15,000 surety felony bonds and was released Tuesday.

Davis, Haner and  Stepp remained in jail Wednesday, with bond set on each at $10,000.

Lt. Jeff Ringstaff, the longest-serving member of the Liberty Hill Police Department, said Tuesday’s warrant execution was the first time that a narcotics search warrant has been executed by Liberty Hill police.

The City of Liberty Hill completed the involuntary annexation of Independence Drive in fall 2015. Since that time, the police department has received a number of complaints from neighbors about the residence, Campbell said.

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