15 years after being dubbed a drug house, a Sioux Falls home makes headlines again and the father and son who live there are behind bars accused of dealing drugs. 22-year-old Corey Thomas and 46-year-old Howard Thomas face multiple charges.
Minnehaha County State's Attorney Aaron McGowan calls this meth bust significant. Last week, the Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force found 26 grams of meth, marijuana and drug paraphernalia inside a home at 1003 North Van Eps Avenue, which is in a drug-free zone. Four others are also charged in this case. Angellya Anthony, Aaron Babb, Brittany LaFramboise and Timothy Lawrence all face charges including meth possession, distribution and marijuana.
The charges are nothing new for Howard Thomas. In fact, KELOLAND News cameras were there one of his arrests in 1998. Howard Thomas, his brother and two women were arrested after police found a quarter pound of meth along with LSD and other drugs inside. 15 years later, this apparent family business now includes Howard's son, Corey.
"There is a vicious cycle there, and in many cases, it can be passed on from generation to generation," McGowan said.
Howard has been in and out of jail since the late '80s. He was just paroled six months ago. In this latest case, investigators also found meth, marijuana, synthetic marijuana, paraphernalia, scales and a handgun in a car in the driveway. This meth bust continues an alarming trend in Sioux Falls. McGowan says last year, police seized nearly 1,900 grams of meth. That is up from 450 grams in 2011.
"We are concerned with the level of seizures and drugs in the community. Fortunately, we have a very aggressive task force that is cracking down as hard as they can, and we will continue to be aggressive in prosecuting," McGowan said.
Corey Thomas faces an additional charge for what happened after the arrest. Police say that as he was switching from street clothes to a jail uniform, he tried to hide a powerful muscle relaxant in his hand.
Watch stories on Howard Thomas' arrest in 1998 in the video player.