By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Investigators and deputies with the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department investigated a number of drug cases over the past few weeks.
The first case began after investigators with the department received a community tip that marijuana was being sold out of a home located at 811 E. Sycamore Rd., said Maj. Donnie Saucier.
After two weeks of investigation, the department had enough evidence to secure a search warrant for the home, which was served on Jan. 17, Saucier said. Investigators serving the warrant came into contact with 18-year-old Jessie Duke, who lives at that address, and in the search they found 11 individual bags of marijuana and a set of digital scales, Saucier said. He said in addition to the marijuana and scales, the investigators confiscated some cash from Duke believed to have been acquired through the sale of narcotics.
Duke was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of paraphernalia, Saucier said.
The next day narcotics investigators conducted a traffic stop that led to a case where several prescription pills were found in the possession of a suspect, Saucier said. He said the investigator conducted the stop for careless driving and during the stop detected the odor of burnt marijuana. This gave the investigator probable cause to search the vehicle and to ask 30-year-old Billie B. Swiney of 299 B Salem Rd., and 22-year-old Kelly M. Silva of 19 Railroad St., Carriere to get out of the vehicle, Saucier said.
In the search, the investigator found a pill bottle with Swiney’s name on it containing one-half of a Roxycodone, some Colazapam pills and three Xanax pills, Saucier said. The search also uncovered a metal smoking device along with a small amount of marijuana in the vehicle, Saucier said.
Due to evidence showing the bulk of the contraband belonged to Swiney, she was charged with careless driving, possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, two misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance and a felony count of possession of a controlled substance for the Roxycodone, Saucier said. Silva was charged with possession of paraphernalia, Saucier said.
The last case also began as a traffic stop, Saucier said. This time the stop was for improper equipment, he said.
Saucier said that on Monday Detective Rob Williams conducted the stop in the 3200 block of Jackson Landing Road. The occupants of the vehicle were acting nervously and produced conflicting stories about their destination, prompting Williams to ask for consent to search the vehicle, which was granted, Saucier said.
Williams found some synthetic marijuana along with several pseudoephedrine pills, Saucier said. He said further investigation showed several of the occupants of the vehicle, including 34-year-old David W. Farrell of 123 Lilac Dr., 27-year-old Rodney S. Hamilton of 108 Caroline St., and 26-year-old Stephanie N. Blanchard of 3317 Jackson Landing Rd., intended to use the cold medication to manufacture methamphetamine.
All three suspects were taken into custody and charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, possession of a schedule III controlled substance and possession of synthetic marijuana, Saucier said.