Man wanted as person of interest arrested on drug warrant

Aug. 24—CLINTON — A Clinton man who state and local officials said is a person of interest in what they describe as a violent crime at a Clinton apartment in early 2021, has been arrested on two drug-offense warrants issued shortly after the crime scene was discovered by 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 accusing him of those two charges was granted March 8, 2021, about two weeks after police found what they described to be a violent crime scene at Polidore's Clinton apartment.

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

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

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

Authorities did not detail 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 with the investigation. Additionally, a DCI Crime Scene Team from the Iowa Criminalistics Laboratory was called to process the scene.

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

Bond is set at $50,000 cash only; his attorney, Mary Wolfe of Clinton, is seeking a bond reduction. He has not waived his right to a speedy trial. Under Iowa Code, a speedy trial must happen within 90 days after trial information is filed. The trial information was filed Monday.

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

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