Man, girlfriend face drug charges
URBANA — A Champaign man out on bond for having suspected heroin on him at Parkland College last month has been arrested again on drug-related charges.
His girlfriend, a parking enforcement officer for the city of Urbana, was also arrested and charged.
An Urbana police report said Charles E. Nickerson, 31, who listed an address in the 1000 block of West Beardsley Avenue, was first stopped by Urbana police at Glover and Green streets in Urbana about 5:30 p.m. Thursday for an alleged traffic offense. When the officer approached the vehicle, Nickerson drove away, almost hitting the officer as he fled.
An Urbana police report said Nickerson had been seen running from the vehicle, which was found parked nearby. He got away but police found several small plastic bags containing about 5 grams of suspected crack cocaine in his path of flight. Nickerson had left his identification inside the vehicle, which registered to Julia T. Jones, 25, who listed an address in the 1000 block of North Third Street.
The report said Jones, who works as a parking enforcement officer in Urbana, was interviewed at her home Friday. She initially denied knowing Nickerson but eventually admitted that they lived together. She gave police permission to search her residence for Nickerson.
The report said in plain view police found a plastic bag containing about an ounce of heroin and other drug paraphernalia. They also found several thousand dollars under Jones' bed.
Jones told police she didn't know anything about the heroin but was aware that Nickerson had been arrested Nov. 27 at Parkland College for having heroin intended for sale. As police were searching her home, Nickerson called Jones, who told him she was about to be arrested. Twenty minutes later, he showed up at her home and was also arrested.
The report said Nickerson admitted fleeing from police the night before but denied that he dropped any cocaine. He told police that the heroin found in Jones' home was his.
Nickerson was charged with possession with intent to deliver heroin in connection with what police found Friday; possession with intent to deliver cocaine from what was found Thursday night; and driving under revocation. He remains in the county jail in lieu of $500,000 bond and was ordered to be back in court Feb. 2 on the new charges.
Jones was charged with possession with intent to deliver heroin and is due back in court with her own attorney Jan. 4. She posted $5,000 cash to be released on bond.
Police Chief Pat Connolly said Jones has been suspended from her parking enforcement job pending a departmental investigation.
Both Nickerson and Jones were charged with a Class X felony for allegedly having the heroin. If convicted, they face a mandatory prison term of between six and 30 years. And Nickerson would have to serve any sentence for this crime after he serves the sentence for having heroin last month, if he's convicted of that.
Their arrests are part of a concerted effort by the police department’s street crimes unit in the South Lierman Avenue area since late October.
Lt. Rich Surles reported that the unit has been “investigating crimes ranging from drug sales to serial crimes to violent crimes” which resulted in the arrest of 11 people and the seizure of more than $6,100, 152 grams of cannabis, 31 grams of heroin and 6 grams of crack cocaine.