A narcotics investigation culminated Wednesday in the arrest of a Silvis restaurant owner after one of his relatives allegedly delivered heroin smelling of barbecue to undercover agents. |
Terrell Dupree Howard, 36, who lives in Silvis and owns Smokehouse Barbecue, 917 1st Ave., was booked into custody at the Rock Island County Jail about 4:40 p.m.
He was arraigned Thursday in Rock Island County Circuit Court on felony charges alleging that he manufactured/distributed 15-100 grams of cocaine and 10-30 grams of cannabis. He remained in custody on a $100,000 bond.
Mr. Howard alerted the suspicion of local narcotics agents during a separate investigation of an individual named Darrius D. Martin, 37, of Rock Island, according to Kevin Winslow, director of the Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group.
Recently released from prison, Mr. Martin allegedly met with undercover agents in Silvis to exchange firearms and heroin, Mr. Winslow said.
Prior to these meetings, Mr. Winslow said agents watched Mr. Martin enter the barbecue restaurant and return carrying a package.
According to Silvis Police Chief Bill Brasche, "When the gun and the heroin were delivered to the agent, it smelled like barbecue."
Drug agents arrested Mr. Martin on Oct. 9 after selling him an inert firearm for a small amount of heroin, Mr. Winslow said. The same day, narcotics agents raided the restaurant, as well as the homes of Mr. Martin and Mr. Howard.
At Mr. Howard's residence, at 155 6th St., Mr. Winslow said agents discovered "dealer amounts of cocaine" and cannabis. A listed phone number for Mr. Howard's restaurant appeared to be disconnected Thursday.
Mr. Winslow said Mr. Martin's case was moved to federal court and he is expected to be charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm; online court records for the case were not available Thursday. Mr. Martin is being held without bond at the Rock Island County Jail.
Authorities say the two men are related, although it is unknown whether their alleged drug activity was conducted together or individually.
On Thursday, Chief Brasche commended the joint work of QCMEG and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in the arrest of the two men.
"We're very pleased. Obviously in a small town, you don't want this happening," he said. "We knew this was going on for some time, and we assisted how we could."
Authorities have recently seen an influx of these type of drug offenses, he said.
"There's been heroin cases left and right, and it's not just here, but it seems to be across the county," Chief Brasche said, adding, "Silvis is certainly a better place without Mr. Howard and Mr. Martin selling heroin, guns and cocaine."