An intelligence driven special operation aimed at identifying drug dealing gang members paid off Wednesday night Thursday morning with the arrests of two men armed with guns, including an AK-47 assault rifle, and drugs.
Savannah-Chatham Police spent Wednesday evening and Thursday morning following intelligence -based leads to identify gang activity and members with highly visible traffic enforcement officers, walking beat patrols, and a contingent of violent crime investigators.
Around 1:30 a.m. Thursday, police arrested two of four suspects after a rapid response to a call of shots fired in the 100 Block of Hampstead Avenue. When the officers arrived, they found Sherman Ellison, 18, Thomas Glover, 26, and 2 other men inside a gray Dodge Charger parked where the shots were reported. The officers saw an AK-47 assault rifle in the car and removed the suspects. Two of them fled, while Ellison and Glover were detained. Subsequent to their arrests, the officers recovered the rifle, a 9mm pistol, 45-caliber handgun, marijuana, and powder/ crack cocaine from inside the car.
Further investigation linked Ellison to one of two groups feuding on Savannah's Westside. Detectives are now attempting to identify the two men that fled and their affiliations. Ellison is in jail charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, one count of possession of marijuana, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Glover is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. They are also being investigated in connection with the recent string of shootings on Savannah's Westside.
In addition to the strike on gang violence, the operation netted the arrests of two men who burglarized a home in a west Savannah neighborhood within minutes of the crime being reported. Walking Beat patrol officers assigned to the area in which several shootings had been reported, arrested Arthur Barnwell, 70, and Andre Webber, 39.
While the burglars have no gang ties, the officers caught them after the two burglarized a home in the 500 block of West 42 Street. The officers saw the pair, who matched the description of the suspects at the corner MLK Boulevard and 42nd. Barnwell was carrying some of the stolen property and resisted the officers when they tried to arrest him. After a brief struggle, the officers handcuffed, and took him into custody. Webber offered no resistance, although he was in possession of drug paraphernalia. The two are in jail charged with burglary.