By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Officers and detectives with the Picayune Police Department investigated several cases this month that involved drug violations.
The first case involved a officer finding some crack cocaine during a routine traffic stop, said Assistant to the Police Chief Jeremy Magri.
On Saturday, an officer patrolling Maxwell Street saw a vehicle illegally parked and obstructing traffic, leading the officer to turn around and speak with the driver, Magri said.
However, when the officer turned around to speak with the driver, the vehicle pulled away and headed down Main Street, but was driving in the middle of two lanes along the four lane road, Magri said. Combined with the illegal parking and the careless driving, a traffic stop was conducted on the vehicle, where the officer came into contact with the driver, 25-year-old Lawrence McDonald of 147 Eloise St., and his passenger, 23-year-old Patrick Irvin of 881 Herrin Dr., Magri said.
As the officer checked the validity of McDonald’s driver’s license and insurance, the officer saw Irvin attempt to hide an object under his person while seated in the passenger seat, Magri said. An NCIC check found McDonald was without a driver’s license, Magri said, and he also was unable to provide proof of insurance. Both McDonald and Irvin were asked to get out of the vehicle, and after consent to search the vehicle was granted by McDonald, the officer found a large piece of crack cocaine, for which Irvin claimed ownership, Magri said.
McDonald was charged with improper parking, careless driving, driving without a license and no proof of insurance, while Irvin was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, Magri said.
On Jan. 11, an officer on patrol along Mississippi Highway 43 North noticed a Ford F-150 without a tag and that the utility trailer being towed behind the truck had an expired tag, Magri said. A traffic stop was conducted during which the officer came into contact with 25-year-old Kade Ladner of 27079 Standard Dedeaux Rd., Kiln, Magri said.
When the officer asked for Ladner’s driver’s license, Ladner stepped out of the vehicle to give it to the officer, Magri said, prompting the officer to ask Ladner to step to the front of his patrol car where the officer did a pat down of Ladner for the officer’s safety. Magri said during the pat down the officer felt a small container in Ladner’s back pocket that Ladner said contained mints. The object, an Altoid container, was retrieved from the back pocket and found to contain what is believed to be crystal methamphetamine, Magri said.
Ladner was placed into custody and a search of his vehicle found a glass pipe with burnt residue believed to be from drug use on the floor board of the vehicle, Magri said. Ladner was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, possession of paraphernalia, expired trailer tag and no tag, Magri said.
Another case took place on Jan. 8, in which a search warrant was obtained, after an undercover drug buy, for the home of 21-year-old Paris Hawkins of 905 Clover Circle, Magri said. When the warrant was served, Hawkins attempted to flee out of the rear door of the home, but was apprehended before he could get away, Magri said.
A search of the home found two bags of synthetic marijuana and a paper towel containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana, Magri said. Officers also seized $132 in currency that is believed to have been obtained through the sale of drugs, Magri said.
Hawkins was charged with sale of a controlled substance and two counts of possession of a controlled substance, Magri said.