BAKER COUNTY, Fla. – Two people were arrested after a SWAT team and detectives with the Baker County Sheriff's Office raided a suspected drug house near a preschool and an elementary school in the Macclenny area, authorities said.
On Monday evening, according to the Sheriff's Office, the SWAT team and detectives served a search warrant at a home on Tom Wilkerson Road, which is located less than 500 feet away from a preschool. Deputies pointed out that the preschool also sits in front of Macclenny Elementary School on County Road 23B. Neighbors also told News4Jax that Tom Wilkerson Road is a street where many children walk and play.
"We've never had any issues like this and to have that happen, not only so close to our house, but also so close to the school is really upsetting," said Macclenny resident Jennifer Doyle, who saw SWAT at the home on Monday. "This just goes to show you that no matter where you live, this kind of thing can happen."
Deputies said Jerry Stafford, the owner of the home, and several others have been distributing narcotics from the home. The Sheriff's Office noted that detectives previously seized 43 grams of methamphetamine and arrested a dealer out of the same house in September.
At the end of the drug raid Monday night, deputies said, Stafford, 63, was arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine with the intent to sell within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of multiple items of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a nuisance house used for selling narcotics.
Detectives said a gun and ammunition belonging to Stafford were taken from the home during the search.
According to the Sheriff's Office, Kelly Prowant, 36, was also arrested at the scene after methamphetamine and drug equipment was found in the bedroom that she claimed she had recently been living in.
"I've never seen that in my community," said Macclenny resident Jennifer Doyle. "It's really quiet. Nobody bothers anybody."
Deputies believe other people had been staying at Stafford's home, but no one was there Tuesday when News4Jax stopped by.
The Sheriff's Office said residents can anonymously report suspicious and potentially drug-related activity by calling 904-259-9218 or emailing email@example.com.