Monday, January 19, 2009

Great-Grandpa deals heroin... what?!!

On Nov 14, a 23 year old man died under "suspicious" circumstances. His girlfriend, then admitted to buying heroin earlier that day from 73 year old Elwood Williard. When police came to search his home, around two am on Nov 25, he claimed he hadn't a clue as to why he would be there. He also said that he and his lady friend 79-year-old Carolyn Hocker were the only ones there.

When police found, a pair of ladies panties that were the wrong size for Hocker, he claimed they were his. Cross dress much, Grandpa? They turned out to belong to Kim Renee Potts, 39, who was hiding under the bed with four-and-a-half “bricks” of heroin. Potts claimed that she was hiding because she knew there were warrants for her arrest after she failed to appear for a DUI sentence. During the search police also found a handgun, drug records and an undisclosed amount of cash.

Both Potts and Williard admitted to police that they dealt heroin out of the house. According to police Sgt. Jonathan Mays, Potts apparently ran the operation. Williard claimed that Potts had a heroin addiction, and was trying to help her with it. What was she using up all of the profit? Addiction or not, it was apparent to police at the time, that Potts was running the show. When Potts left every month to go to Myerstown, she would tell Williard who was coming by and he would conduct sales while she was gone.

It wasn't determined that Hocker had anything to do with the dealing at that time, so she wasn't arrested. The other two were held on $100,000 bond. The story doesn't end there though. While in prison, Williard and Hocker conspired to get 10 bricks of heroin from Bucks County to Cumberland County. Williard ran his mouth to another inmate, who in turn blabbed to the Cumberland County DA. The two had discussed thier plan in code, but after listening to the taped conversations with a more attentive ear, the cops hatched a plan of thier own. The cops set up and undercover sting, which resulted in the arrest of a New Jersey couple. And now, Ms. Carolyn Hocker joins her friends in jail.

The smorgasbord of charges include possible manslaughter charges pending the toxicology reports of the 23 yr old, charges for possession of drugs and paraphernalia, and charges for dealing drugs from jail.

"Debonair Bandit" hangs up his fedora

You have to give James Howze credit in at least one department, the man has style. Howze is suspected of robbing at least four Chicagoland bank robberies, in which he wore his signature brown overcoat, brown fedora, black scarf and black leather gloves. The FBI dubbed Howze the Debonair Bandit for his dapper fashion sense "when compared to most bank robbery suspects." No ski mask for this guy!

The two most recent robberies happened within a week of Christmas. One robbery on Dec. 18, and the other on Dec 23, the same day that the FBI released his pictures to the media. In each case, the dashing Debonair Bandit would stroll up to the teller, put a note on the counter, announced a robbery, and implied he had a weapon and threatened to harm the teller if his demands weren't met. He used a black leather attache case (he even accessorized!) to carry the money out of the bank, and would disappear into the crowds outside the bank.

After The FBI press release, five people came forward to identify Howze. Thanks to the tipsters, the FBI was able to track him to Atlanta where he was arrested. This apparently isn't the first time Howze is in trouble with the law. In 2002, he was convicted of passing counterfeit checks. And, in 2003, he plead guilty to two counts of bank fraud for trying to pass forged checks worth about $700,000.

As right now, he is only being charged with the Dec 23 robbery, though he is suspected of the others. The lone robbery charge could get him up to twenty years in prison if he is convicted.