Carnival Workers Arrested For Cocaine Found In Doll
by Jill Johnson
August 05, 2013 6:06 PM
Two carnival workers at the Sioux Empire Fair have been arrested on drug charges.
Sioux Falls Police say thanks to a tip from authorities in a different state, two men, 35-year-old Louis Frank Deak of Lawton, Oklahoma, and 55-year-old John Thomas Whitfield Jr. of Houston, Texas are behind bars.
"We had information that there was a suspicious package that may have contained some drugs that may be shipped to Sioux Falls," said Clemens.
Police say they don't know how authorities in Texas knew there was a package, but they were told to intercept it as it came into the city. That's exactly what the Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force did.
Officer Sam Clemens said, "Detectives were able to intercept that package and inside of it they found there was about 37 grams of crack cocaine that had actually been packaged inside of a doll."
Police say they found the cocaine in the head of Lalaloopsy Doll that looks similar to this one. They re-packaged it and delivered the package to the address, at a hotel in the southwest part of town.
Louis Deak was there to pick it up. He told police he was picking up the package for another man, who he owed money to, but didn't know what was inside. The other man was John Whitfield. Authorities found meth residue and marijuana inside the truck he was staying in at the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds.
The Sioux Empire Fair President and CEO Scott Wick said, "The carnival brings their crew to town, that drives the trucks, puts the rides together, operates the rides so those two individuals were personnel with the the carnival."
Wick says when the carnival comes to town their head of security, also a Sergeant with the Minnehaha County Sheriff's Office does a background check on each of the workers. There were no red flags, but their goal is to make sure the people who visit the fair are safe.
"Wick said, There's a lot of uniformed officers, there are non-uniformed officers out here so it's very, very safe."
Both Deak and Whitfield were working at the fairgrounds but were not employees of the Sioux Empire Fair. They work for Murphy Brother Exposition, the carnival that comes to the fair.
Deak was arrested for distribution of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of paraphernalia.
Whitfield was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, possession with the intent to distribute and possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.Pictured from left to right: Louis Frank Deak, John Thomas Whitfield Jr.