$1.5M Bond for Alleged Dealer

Banks Batten (right) and some of the evidence seized during the raid. (CCSO photo)
Banks Batten (right) and some of the evidence seized during the raid. (CCSO photo)

A pre-dawn raid turned up crack cocaine and illegally shortened AR-15 rifle Tuesday in Green Acres.

Banks Raphel Batten, 35, of 60 Pine Circle Drive, was held under $1.5 million bond. He is charged with trafficking in cocaine, possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver cocaine and marijuana, maintaining a dwelling for drug activities, and possession of a weapon of mass destruction, according to jail records.

The sheriff’s office SWAT team, Vice-Narcotics, and command staff hit Banks’ home in the early morning, according to a press release. Batten had been the subject of an ongoing investigation. Multiple undercover buys took place at the residence over an extended period of time, the press release said.

“This residence and occupants have been the subject of numerous complaints, armed robberies, search warrant operations, controlled purchases, and vehicle pursuits,” Sheriff Jody Greene said in the press release.

In addition to 184 grams (6.5 ounces) of cocaine, investigators found an AR-15 rifle with a 100-round drum magazine. The rifle had a barrel shorter than the 16 inches required by federal firearms laws.

This investigation is part of the ongoing Take Back Columbus campaign initiated by Greene. One of the target areas of the campaign has been the Green Acres community.

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About Jefferson Weaver 1326 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the managing editor of columbuscountynews.com and news director for WTXY radio. He can be reached at 910.632.4965, or by email at jeffersonweaver@columbuscountynews.com.