HANCEVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — Hanceville police today announced a major drug bust that developed after an initially routine traffic stop two weeks ago, resulting in over $500,000 in drugs, cash and weapons off the streets.
Sergeant Rob Long and John Davidson of the Hanceville Police Department stopped a vehicle inside the city limits. During the traffic stop, Long established that an illegal drug component was likely part of the incident. Narcotics investigators responded to the scene, and they found evidence there and in later questioning to launch an ongoing, lengthy investigation.
Assistant chief of police Adam Hadder, also a narcotics investigator, pursued the investigation that surrounded a single suspect with previous felony convictions involving narcotics possession and trafficking. Hadder looked into whether the individual may be once again involved in illegal distribution of a controlled substance.
In his investigation, Hadder composed a crime profile indicating significant amount of narcotics and other illegal drugs, tied to the traffic stop, were possibly being trafficking into the Hanceville, Cullman County and surrounding communities from a home in the Blountsville area.
Monday, Hadder along with Rob Long, Lt. Brannon Hammock and Chief Bob Long set up a purchase of an ounce of methamphetamine in Blount County from a man believed to be linked to the suspected individual. Chief Long says the man became agitated right before the transaction and drove away. Hadder followed him in an unmarked vehicle. Hadder and other HPD officers began pursuing the suspect vehicle into downtown Blountsville with blue lights blazing, managing to box in the suspect after a short chase.
In the meantime, the Blount County Sheriff’s Office was surveilling the suspect’s presumed home. After they detained the suspect, they procured a search warrant and entered his home where they found a residence sparsely decorated and smelling of marijuana, which they think is a “stash house.”
Inside, Long says they seized 110 pounds of high-grade marijuana buds, two pounds of methamphetamine, three ounces of cocaine, numerous pills thought to be ecstasy, multiple firearms, various drug paraphernalia and apparatus, and cash in amounts between $90,000 and $110,000. Estimated street value of the drugs is well over $350,000.
33-year-old Bradley Neal Steele of Blountsville was arrested and charged with three counts of trafficking a controlled substance (marijuana, methamphetamine and cocaine). Long says additional charges may be pending.
Steele’s bond is set at $3,000,000.