SO drugs

Authorities confiscated a variety of drugs during a search for a wanted man Thursday night. Four suspects were arrested, and heroin, methamphetamine, ecstasy, marijuana, Xanax crack cocaine, two firearms and more than $1,400 in cash were seized.

McLennan County Sheriff's Office photo

The hunt for a wanted man ended Thursday night with the arrest of four men and the seizure of a variety of drugs and two firearms, McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said.

Members of the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team were searching for Derwin Dewayne Bell, 19, who was wanted on warrants charging theft from a person and burglary. Deputies spotted Bell in a car that pulled into a convenience store near Eighth Street and West Waco Drive.

"They recognized Bell as being one of the occupants in the car when he got out of the car with another guy," McNamara said. "The car looked real suspicious because people started buying dope right out of the car at the gas pump."

FAST officers moved quickly to pin the car in and apprehended the four occupants, McNamara said. Bell, Christopher Carprew, 20, Jared Mays, 23, and Christopher Clark, 18, were all detained as authorities investigated.

"All four guys were arrested, and that is when they found all the dope, cash and guns they had with them," McNamara said. "One of the guns, a .40-caliber Glock, had even been reported stolen."

McNamara said deputies found 7.6 grams of heroin, 3 grams of ecstasy and methamphetamine, 24.5 grams of crack cocaine, 18.1 ounces of marijuana and 171 grams of Xanax. Officers also found a loaded Tec-9 handgun and more than $1,400 in cash.

"There is no doubt these guys were selling drugs," McNamara said.

The suspects were allegedly selling drugs in a drug-free zone because of nearby facilities for children, authorities said. All four suspects also have ties with a known gang, including three that were reportedly being initiated into a gang, the sheriff said.

"I am really proud of our FAST guys for getting these guys off the streets," McNamara said. "We weren't even looking for the other three guys, but they were just extra apples on the tree or cherries on the vines."

All four suspects were taken to McLennan County Jail on a variety of drug and weapons charges late Thursday night. McNamara said Waco police assisted in the apprehension of the suspects, and additional charges may be added.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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