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Carnival workers arrested in S. Dakota when police find crack in doll

Aug. 7, 2013 at 3:48 PM

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Police in South Dakota said they arrested two carnival workers when officers intercepted a doll filled with 1.3 ounces of crack cocaine.

Sioux Falls police said they received word Saturday from police in Pearland, Texas, that a suspicious package was on its way to their city via FedEx, the Argus Leader (Sioux Falls) reported Wednesday.

"They ended up getting a search warrant on the package and found the doll with the drugs inside," police spokesman Sam Clemens said. "They repackaged it and the undercover detectives delivered that package."

The package was picked up at a Sioux Falls hotel by Louis Frank Deak, 35, of Lawton, Okla. Deak told police he was unaware of the package's contents and was picking it up for coworker John Thomas Whitfield, 55, of Houston to pay off a debt.

Whitfield was found in a truck he was staying in on the grounds of the Sioux Empire Fair, where both men were operating rides as employees of contractor Murphy Brothers Exposition of Tulsa, Okla.

Deak was charged with felony drug possession and drug distribution. Whitfield was charged with felony drug possession, intent to distribute and marijuana possession.

Fair manager Scott Wick praised investigators.

"It was an unfortunate incident that was handled perfectly," Wick said. "We will see what happens to the boys in court. What a foolish move."

He said the fair performs background checks on all workers.

"The carnival does a great job policing themselves," he said. "We have a security briefing prior to opening up and we tell them the rules. If they screw up, they go to jail and are not coming back."

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