For Immediate Release: 5/15/2018 10:21 pm
On Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at approximately 10:55 AM, members of the WPD Vice Squad were working in the area of the Price Chopper Market, located at 23 Sunderland Road. At this time one of the undercover officers observed a Jeep Cherokee pull into the parking lot and park away from the building. A male operator was seen sitting in the vehicle and talking on his cell phone. After a very brief conversation the operator of the Jeep drove to the opposite side of the parking lot. The male exited the Jeep and entered a Toyota Camry. There was one male in the Toyota, the driver, he was later identified as Okena Smith, 33-years-old of 63 Warner Avenue.
After brief moment the male exited the Toyota and walked back towards his Jeep. It appeared to the observing vice officer that he had just witnessed a street level drug purchase.
The two vehicles drove off. The vice officer called out to other nearby vice officers to follow the Jeep while he and another vice officer followed the Toyota driven by Mr. Smith.
The Jeep was stopped by the officers and it was discovered that the male had just purchased cocaine from Mr. Smith. At this time the other officers following Smith attempted to stop him at the intersection of Cohasset and Warner Streets. The two vice officers approached the stopped vehicle with their badges prominently displayed outside of their clothing. Upon seeing the approaching officers, Mr. Smith accelerated his Toyota around the undercover vice vehicles and speed off.
The vice officers called out to surrounding officers in marked cruisers of the direction of travel that Mr. Smith had taken. One marked cruiser tried to intercept Mr. Smith but he maneuvered around him and ignored the cruiser’s emergency lights by refusing to stop. Eventually Mr. Smith got caught up in heavy traffic and officers were able to catch up to him and place him under arrest.
Mr. Smith was discovered to have $393.00 in cash on him which was confiscated as proceeds of the drug deal. The cash and drugs were confiscated as evidence.
Mr. Smith was charged with Operating a MV so as to Endanger, Failure to Stop for a Police Officer and Distribution of Cocaine.
The operator of the Jeep was not placed under arrest and will be summonsed into court for the possession of Class B Substance on a date yet to be determined.
Mr. Smith will be arraigned on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at the Worcester County District Courthouse.
The Toyota was towed from the scene and impounded back at police headquarters.