The kids in his Caseyville neighborhood called Sylvester Childress
the "Candyman," as he was known for selling sweets, soda and chips to area children out of his house.
But police had long suspected that Childress also sold other items from his home -- something the grown-ups in the neighborhood might refer to as "nose candy" -- and over the course of the past several months the cops say their suspicions were confirmed.
Childress is now charged with two counts of felony possession of drugs with intent to deliver.
As the Belleville News-Democrat
reports, Caseyville police -- working with a confidential source -- allegedly arranged three drug buys from Childress over the past several months, purchasing cocaine and marijuana . Last month the police got a search warrant and discovered more cocaine and pot inside Childress' home, as well as a handgun with a curious pink handle. (The Candyman would probably refer to the color as "bubblegum."
Police reportedly upped their investigation prior to the July 4 holiday, as Childress is also known to sell fireworks out of his home and they fretted that the combination of children, drug dealing and explosives was too dangerous a mix to leave alone.
Yesterday the 49-year-old Childress was in custody in St. Clair County Jail with bail set at $75,000.