Purple Haze Suspects Back In Court

Some of the evidence against three of the Purple Haze gang round up last month were spelled out in court Wednesday.

Vernon Elmore and Jerell Haynie waived their preliminary hearings today. But three other suspects, Michael Liggins, Lawrence McGarity, and Carlos Taylor did have preliminary hearings.

Testimony revealed some of the hierarchy of the drug trade.
"It's an organized crime business," said Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine. "You have the street-level dealers. You have mid-level dealers. You have the upper-level people. You have the people that bring it in from somewhere else. There are several levels of distribution here that are involved."

In each or the hearings Detective James Paul with the Omaha Police Gang Unit told the court about multiple drug buys using confidential informants. Many of those buys were recorded using audio and video surveillance equipment.

But in the case against Carlos Taylor, even cell phone conversations between him and his supplier were recorded.

Detective Paul read aloud some of the coded conversations that he believes are Taylor and his supplier, Eric English, discussing the availability and price of crack cocaine.

Prosecutors argue that this case isn't just about drugs.
"Part of the business involves gangs," says Kleine. "It involves violence. It involves shootings. It involves guns. It involves turf wars in carrying on that kind of business. So anything we can do to prohibit or prevent those kinds of things and take those people off the streets will prevent some of the problems with violence we have in our community."

The other suspect, Eric English, the supplier who was also recorded on the cell phone call, is the only one of the Purple Haze suspects who hasn't been arrested yet.

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