Wanted as a person of interest was arrested on a drug warrant

Aug. 24 — CLINTON — A Clinton man who state and local officials say is of interest in what they describe as a violent crime at a Clinton apartment in early 2021 was arrested on two drug violation warrants issued shortly after the crime scene was discovered by the police.

Ja’Kwane O. Polidore, 27, who is being held in the Clinton County Jail, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to possession of cocaine with intent to deliver and failure to affix a drug stamp. An arrest warrant charging him with those two charges was issued on March 8, 2021, about two weeks after police discovered a violent crime scene at Polidore’s Clinton apartment.

According to the criminal complaint, the charges stem from the execution of a search warrant by the Clinton Police Department on February 24, 2021, at 847 Gateway Ave., Apt. No. 12, Clinton. The document states that the apartment had been identified by the property manager as Polidore’s apartment and that the manager told police that Polidore lived there alone.

According to the complaint, as a result of the search warrant, a clear plastic bag containing approximately 19 individual clear bags containing a yellowish rock-like substance consistent with cocaine was located inside a plastic storage container in the bedroom inside 847 Gateway Ave., Apt. 12. The total weight was approximately 14.2 grams and tested positive for suspected cocaine based on a field test, the complaint said.

According to an Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation press release issued on February 26, 2021, Clinton police were called at 10:20 a.m. on February 24, 2021 at the apartment regarding suspicious activity. Upon arrival, they discovered evidence leading them to believe that a violent crime had occurred in building 847, Apt. No. 12.

Authorities did not specify the nature of the crime, but said they were looking for two people identified as persons of interest — Polidore and Khalil S. Pugh. The DCI was called in to assist in the investigation. Additionally, a DCI Crime Scene Team from the Iowa Forensic Laboratory was called in to process the scene.

A court filing on March 6, 2021 indicates that officers sought an arrest warrant for Polidore in connection with the 19 bags of a cocaine-like substance they had discovered. That warrant was later expanded nationwide, as Polidore was believed to be residing in Louisiana. He was extradited from Texas to Clinton County, with the warrant served on Aug. 13.

Bond is set at $50,000 cash only. His attorney, Mary Wolfe of Clinton, is asking for a bond reduction. He has not waived his right to a speedy trial. According to the Iowa Code, an expedited trial must occur within 90 days of submitting the trial information. The evidence of the trial was filed on Monday.

His arraignment is set for 8:30 a.m. Sept. 1 in Clinton County Circuit Court.

As for Pugh, he is listed on the National Institute of Justice’s National Missing and Unidentified Persons System website as missing from Clinton and was last seen on February 24, 2021. The NamUs case was created on July 8, 2021.

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