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Local authorities arrest three after illegal drug trade


(L-R): Bertha Mae Reynolds, John H. Merritt, Walter Gene Outler Submitted photo (L-R): Bertha Mae Reynolds, John H. Merritt, Walter Gene Outler

The Douglas-Coffee Drug Unit arrested three individuals involved in illegal prescription drug trade following a surveillance operation earlier this week.

On March 19, 2018, agents were conducting an operation in the area of S. Gaskin Ave. and E. Cherry St. in Douglas. Agents observed two males, identified as 60-year-old John H. Merritt, Jr. and 62-year-old Walter Gene Outler, enter the area and exchange money and suspected controlled prescription medications with another individual, later identified as 62-year-old Bertha Mae Reynolds.

Merritt and Outler were detained following the exchange and found to be in possession of the prescription drug Hydrocodone. Each was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance. Outler was also found to be wanted on a probation warrant.

Agents conducted a traffic stop on Reynolds shortly following the observed exchange. Officers detected the smell of marijuana coming from inside Reynolds' vehicle, and she admitted to recently smoking the substance. Reynolds also admitted to selling the prescription drugs to the other two individuals. A search of her car led to the discovery of two pill bottles containing the same drug.

Reynolds was arrested and faces charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

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