By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Officers with the Picayune Police Department conducting traffic stops and responding to reports of shoplifters found several drug violations.
One case that involved drugs and the apparent recovery of stolen items began when an officer checked into a vehicle that was blocking the flow of traffic, which lead to the discovery of apparent illegal possession of prescription medication and the recovery of items reportedly taken in a residential burglary, said Assistant to the Chief of Police Jeremy Magri.
On Wednesday, the officer saw a vehicle obstructing the flow of traffic, prompting the officer to conduct a traffic stop, Magri said. He said that as the officer pulled up to the vehicle, the passenger in the rear of the vehicle, later identified as 22-year-old Marquis Spanks of 824 Fourth St., got out of the vehicle. The officer instructed Spanks to remain in the car, which he did, Magri said.
As the officer spoke with the driver, 25-year-old Lakisha Price of 1003 Brookdale Dr., he noticed Spanks was acting suspiciously, Magri said. Spanks then was asked to get out of the vehicle and a pat down was conducted in which the officer found two pill bottles containing a Xanax, a Hydrocodone, an Oxycodone and three Clonazepam, Magri said. A gold box containing several kinds of jewelry, such as earrings, bracelets, and chains, also was found during the stop and later determined to have been stolen during a residential burglary, Magri said.
Initially Spanks was taken into custody on four counts of possession of a controlled substance, while Price was cited for driving while license suspended, obstructing traffic and no child restraint, Magri said.
Later that same day officers responded to the report of a burglary at a home on North Monroe Avenue. Magri said the investigation linked the jewelry found with Spanks during the traffic stop with the items reported as taken during the burglary, leading him to be charged with felony possession of stolen property since Spanks claimed he obtained the jewelry from a third party. Magri said detectives are still investigating to determine who committed the burglary.
On Tuesday, officers conducted a stop at Airport Road and Palestine Road. During the stop the officer came into contact with the passenger, 23-year-old Amah R. Bolden of 221 Jarrell St., and detected the smell of marijuana coming from his person, Magri said. A pat down was conducted in which the officer noticed loose, green, leafy substances falling from the inside of his pants onto the ground along with a piece of a plastic baggy, Magri said.
Bolden was charged with possession of marijuana and the $265 in cash in his pocket was seized, Magri said.
In another case on Wednesday, officers responding to a report of shoplifting at Wal-Mart were informed that 18-year-old Aybreana Lepine and 25-year-old Amber Giordano, both of 1200 Eagle Lake Rd., Lot 46, Slidell, La., had been seen taking $91 in merchandise, including a purse and a pair of jeans, Magri said.
While the officer spoke with the suspects, the smell of intoxicating beverage was detected, leading both women to be charged with shoplifting and public drunk, Magri said. Giordano also attempted to provide the officer with false identifying information, leading to the additional charge of providing false identifying information to a law enforcement officer, Magri said. After the suspects had been transported to the Criminal Justice Center for booking, the officer checked the patrol vehicle as per protocol, and found a large number of rock like substances in the rear seat that were determined to be crack cocaine, Magri said. Both suspects were additionally charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, Magri said.