4 Arrested in Drug Raid, Neighboring Residents Weigh in

Residents witness suspicious criminal behavior an ends in 4 arrested on Monday

ROCKFORD - Four men sit in the Winnebago County Jail and face drug and weapons charges.  Their arrests comes after police raided a Southeast Rockford home, thanks to observant neighbors.  The arrests have been months in the making.  Residents say they had their suspicions about the home many of them lived next to.
    
For months, nearby residents told Rockford Police, the home at 1409 Magnolia Street was the site of illegal drug activity.

"Ever since that house came in, it's just gotten a lot worse," said Rockford Resident Joshua August.

Several residents, who declined to be on camera, said they constantly saw people going in and out of the home and a stream of cars were always parked out on the street.  Residents also say some instances appeared to even be drug deals on street corners.

"It's just a normal thing nowadays really," said August.  "That's all I can say.  It's just a normal thing.  You always see cops running around. "

Police raided the Magnolia Street home and seized marijuana and two stolen guns.

Four men, Jaleel Lake, 21, Charles Gary Jr, 24, Corey Robinson,19, are now behind bars.  They face drug and weapons violations.  Damarcus Belcher,22, faces an additional charge of resisting a police officer.  Residents say flashing police lights are a common sight in their neighborhood. On Sunday, a man was shot in his leg in front of a church in the same block.

"Sunday when I came from church, I [saw] on the news that somebody got shot sunday morning," said Rockford Resident Emma Pousley.

Residents also say they're glad the men are off the streets.  Many believe that the alleged suspects may be responsible for the commotion they've witnessed far too many times.  

"We don't have [any] problems right here," said Pousley.  "Down there, I don't go that way, but there's always [drama] something that way."

"It's gotten worse," said August.  "That's all I've seen is trouble, trouble, trouble."

In the same block, back in August, a man was shot in the head and survived.  In November, there was a home invasion just a block away.  Now, residents like Joshua August, who's been raising a family in this neighborhood for the last three years, says it might be time to move out.

"We don't want to be here anymore," said August. "Were just too scared to have them outside sitting or playing on the playground."

 


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