One man was arrested after police said they found 91 grams of heroin in a storage unit that he was known to frequent.
According to Columbia police, the department’s vice narcotics and organized-crime (VNOC) unit received information from a citizen about Maurice Mitchell coming from St. Louis to Columbia with heroin. Investigators were told that he might be associated with a storage unit on Route K.
Police conducted surveillance of the unit Monday. Detectives said they saw a black Dodge come into the parking lot and confirmed that Mitchell was the driver and the only occupant of the car.
Detectives said they kept surveillance on Mitchell and saw him drive to a home on Godas Circle. Investigators said they saw him leave this residence three times and go to public locations. Court documents said investigators saw him make short transactions with multiple people.
Investigators said that at one location, they saw five people go into and out of the passenger side of Mitchell’s car, spending about 15 to 20 seconds with Mitchell each time. In documents, the investigator wrote that from his training and experience, this behavior is consistent with narcotics transactions.
Detectives said they followed Mitchell to a grocery store on Paris Road and took him into custody on outstanding warrants. Court documents said a K-9 altered officers there were narcotics in the car, but no contraband was found.
Detectives said they contacted the owner of the home on Godas to see if they could search the home. A woman told detectives that the owner wasn’t home but they could search. Detectives said they saw the woman leave the home, go to a convenience store nearby and throw a bag in the trash. Detectives retrieved the bag and said it contained 20 unused baggies, a baggie with about 28 grams of a substance that tested positive for heroin, a razor blade and a digital scale.
Investigators were told the woman is Mitchell’s ex-girlfriend and Mitchell does not stay at her home. Court documents said when police asked about the bag she threw away, she told investigators she got scared and tried to get rid of the items. She told police the drugs were Mitchell’s and she had never seen them before speaking with police.
After a search warrant was obtained for the storage unit, detectives said they found 91 grams of heroin, multiple digital scales, baggies, a marijuana grinder and a razor blade.
According to police, the amount of heroin Mitchell had under his control could range between 600 and 1200, doses depending on the users’ tolerance.
Court records show Mitchell also has a violent criminal history, including prior arrests for assault, domestic assault and felony possession of a controlled substance.