By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
An off-duty Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department DUI deputy spotted a person he believed to be driving under the influence, leading to that suspect’s arrest.
As DUI deputy Jason Lee was traveling on White Chapel Road he saw what he believed to be a driver under the influence of some sort of intoxicating substance, prompting the deputy to call for on-duty assistance, said Chief Investigator Donnie Saucier.
Cpl. Randy Messa responded and a traffic stop was conducted where the officer found 56-year-old Steven Patrick Mariakis of 1214 Henleyfield McNeill Rd., behind the wheel, Saucier said.
As Messa spoke with Mariakis, the driver gave several indications that he could be intoxicated, prompting a field sobriety test , Saucier said. The results of the test gave Messa enough probable cause evidence to arrest Mariakis on a DUI charge, which led to a pat down of Mariakis, Saucier said.
In Mariakis’ front pocket Messa found a clear plastic bag containing two other bags with a dark white powdery substance in each bag, Saucier said. The substance was later determined to be heroin, Saucier said.
Narcotics officers were called to the scene to substantiate the find, the chief investigator said. An additional charge of felony possession of a controlled substance was placed against Mariakis, and his 1996 Ford F-150 was seized because he was transporting the controlled substance in the vehicle, Saucier said.
“This is a good example of how dedicated our deputies are, even when they’re off-duty” Saucier said. “Deputy Lee displayed that, even off-duty, he still has conscientious concern for the citizens.”