Middletown police are investigating some people involved in a traffic crash at Main Street and Central Avenue Wednesday who were later part of house search where drugs and weapons were found. The case remains under investigation. FILE PHOTO

Downtown Middletown crash leads to weapons, drugs investigation

About 10 p.m. Wednesday, police arrived to investigate a traffic crash with possible injuries at Central Avenue and Main Street that also damaged a traffic controller and traffic lights at the intersection. The traffic lights were not restored until Thursday afternoon.

Police said that Mariah Koenig of Cincinnati was driving a 2018 Hyundai Elantra west on Central Avenue through the intersection with a green light when a black 2011 Jeep Cherokee heading south on Main Street struck her vehicle and spun it around. The occupants of the Jeep Cherokee fled on foot on South Main Street, according to a witness who saw the crash. Police asked to view security camera footage from The Windamere Building across the street.

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According to the report, police were unable identify the clothing of the fleeing suspects as they ran behind The Windamere and the Hope House and an attempt to do a K-9 search was unsuccessful.

Police searched the Jeep Cherokee, where a loaded Glock handgun was found in the trunk. Officers found narcotics that were wrapped into a bag with pills and other narcotics possibly separated inside of a large, plastic baggie and two cell phones. Police also located about 7.23 grams of an off white powdery substance believed to be heroin in the trunk.

The owner of the Jeep Cherokee was tracked down to his residence in the 600 block of Mary Etta Street. When officers went to see the vehicle owner, they found and detained some of the suspects who were believed to have ran from the crash. The police report said officers were familiar with the address from a previous shooting that happened there.

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Anthony Smallwood, 18, of Mary Etta Street, matched the description of one of the people fleeing the crash scene. Smallwood told police he was driving, then said his brother was the driver, but later admitted he was driving the Jeep Cherokee owned by Charles Denney of the same address. Smallwood told police that he ran because he was scared and did not have a driver’s license.

Officers also identified two other suspects who were in the vehicle at time of the crash but have not filed charges on them.

Denney told police he had found out his vehicle had been wrecked and knew who had taken it. He also gave consent to police to search his residence. Police ordered Smallwood, the two other men and another person out of the residence while they were searching it.

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During the search, police found a .38 special revolver in a kitchen drawer, and an off-white tan substance believed to be heroin which weighed 31.68 grams in a kitchen cabinet. In a basement bedroom, police found a hand-written letter addressed to one of the suspects, an empty pistol magazine and with a backpack containing another weapon with a loaded magazine as well as various types of ammunition.

Smallwood was charged with fleeing the scene, driving under suspension/non-compliance, and red light violation. He is scheduled to appear at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in Middletown Municipal Court.

The case remains under investigation.

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