Drug house discovered near school, 2 arrested for cocaine, drug-free school zone violations

Posted at 7:19 AM, Jan 29, 2016

BENTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Two people are facing a variety of drug-related charges in Berrien County, after police busted a cocaine dealing operation just blocks from a nearby middle school.

The Berrien County Narcotics Unit went to an apartment on Colfax Avenue in Benton Township, to investigate an illegal drug operation that had reportedly been happening over the past several months.  Fairplain Middle School is located just a couple of blocks from the residence.

Officers were watching the location prior to serving a warrant, and saw two adults leave in a vehicle.  They pulled the driver over, and had both suspects returned to the residence.  That is when police discovered $1,400 worth of crack cocaine, as well as prescription pain pills.

The suspects are identified as Frankie Lane Barber, 62, and Sonja Renee Bridgeman, 49.  Barber was on federal probation for an unrelated crime, and is being charged with Possession with Intent to Deliver Crack Cocaine (2nd offense), Maintaining a Drug House (2nd offense) and violation of the Drug-Free School Zone for being within 1,000 feet of an active school.  Bridgeman is also facing multiple drug charges.

The Berrien County Narcotics Unit asks for the community to call and report suspicious activities occurring in their community or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-342-STOP.