SWAT team helps with Champaign drug arrests

URBANA — The Champaign police department's SWAT team was asked to help with a search of a home in that city Thursday morning that resulted in the arrest of two people who had suspected methamphetamine and other drug paraphernalia.

Paige C. Tomlinson, 27, and Ashley Cordell, 26, both of the 0-100 block of O'Connor Court, were each charged Friday with a single count of possession of between five and 15 grams of methamphetamine, a Class 2 felony.

Champaign police Sgt. Tom Walker said his department had received a Crimestoppers tip about two weeks ago concerning alleged drug activity at the house, prompting investigators to watch the home, which is just south of Kirby Avenue and about a block north of St. Matthew's Catholic church and school.

Walker said police had developed information that Tomlinson was "using the house as a flop house and allowing drug dealers to live there." Because police had information that some of them may have had weapons, they decided to use the SWAT team to help them get in the house Thursday morning.

Police interviewed Cordell, who said she and Tomlinson are long-time heroin users who had lived in the house about a year-and-a-half.

In the home, police found about eight grams of suspected methamphetamine, a syringe, and other items of paraphernalia, including plastic bags, jars, coffee filters, and foil with burned residue,

Walker said Tomlinson and Cordell were the only two people in the house when police served the search warrant Thursday. Police found about eight grams of finished methamphetamine but there was evidence to suggest that Tomlinson was preparing the ingredients there and cooking the meth at a different location, he said.

Walker said the street value of methamphetamine is about $100 a gram.

If convicted, Tomlinson and Cordell face penalties ranging from probation to three to seven years in prison.

Bond for both Tomlinson and Cordell was set at $100,000. They are both due back in court on Oct. 8.

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