4 arrested near Smith Lake Park for trafficking

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Left to right: Matt James Baker, Ryan Gene Pace, Patti Lee Sterling and Wesley Shane Ward (Cullman County Sheriff’s Office)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman County Sheriff’ Office (CCSO) said four people were arrested Thursday and charged with trafficking in illegal drugs following the execution of a search warrant at a residence along County Road 385 near Smith Lake Park.

Allegedly recovered in the search were 3 grams of methamphetamine, numerous Lortab pills and drug paraphernalia.

Deputies, along with agents with the Cullman Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET), arrested Matt James Baker, 40, of Trimble; Ryan Gene Pace, 19, of Logan; Patti Lee Sterling, 60, of Trimble; and Wesley Shane Ward, 40, of Cullman. Each was also charged with two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

All four remain incarcerated in the Cullman County Detention Center, each on a $508,300 bond.

The CCSO said Sterling had two warrants from Cullman County for unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and Ward had a first-degree theft of property warrant from the Athens Police Department.

“We have received several citizen complaints about this residence possibly being a source for drug activity, so we investigated and obtained a search warrant and I am glad we were able to arrest these individuals. Also, with this drug house being so close to the park this was not a good situation for the families visiting the park,” said Sheriff Matt Gentry.  “I would also like to thank the community, deputies and the CNET agents for the diligence they displayed on this case.”

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Wendy Sack

wendy@cullmantribune.com