By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Three people were charged with the possession of cold medication containing a precursor chemical used to manufacture methamphetamine during a traffic stop Monday.
Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Investigator Donnie Saucier said a deputy conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 59 Monday for a routine traffic violation.
During the stop the deputy noticed the people inside the vehicle were acting suspiciously, prompting the deputy to ask for consent to search. All three occupants, 36-year-old Steven Nelson of 28 Yankee Trail, Lumberton, 28-year-old Greg Lee of 277 John Mars Rd., Lumberton and 36-year-old Michael Skabialka of 33 Rudolph Rd., Brooklyn, Miss., were in the vehicle during the stop, Saucier said.
A narcotics investigator was called out to make the search and the investigator found multiple pseudoephedrine pills that had been removed from their original packaging inside the vehicle, Saucier said.
Through investigative measures and interviews the detectives were able to determine the cold medication had been purchased with the intent of selling the pills to a third party for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine, Saucier said.
All three men were charged with possession of schedule 3 controlled substance and conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, Saucier said.
Due to the passing of a law in 2010 that prohibits the sale of cold medication containing pseudoephedrine in Mississippi, it is illegal for people within the state to possess the drug without a written prescription from a licensed physician, Saucier said.
However, some people have taken to crossing state lines into Louisiana to purchase the medication, where it is sold over the counter, Saucier said.
“Our intention is to arrest those who purchase pseudoephedrine as part of a conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine,” Saucier said.