By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Three cases led to the arrest of several suspects on drug related charges.
The first case began Monday afternoon when a Picayune Police officer saw a vehicle traveling on Union School Road, being driven by a person known by the officer to have a suspended driver’s license, said Administrative Assistant to the Chief of Police Jeremy Magri.
The vehicle was stopped and the officer came into contact with the driver, Rebecca A. McCart, 32, 119 Rowland Dr., and confirmed through the National Crime Information Center that her license was suspended. After the officer took McCart into custody for driving while license suspended, he spoke with the passenger, 33-year-old Jason Andrew Blackwell of 985 Union School Rd., and discovered through NCIC there was a warrant out for Blackwell’s arrest by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Department for bank fraud, Magri said.
McCart’s vehicle was searched, and on the passenger-side seat the officer found a cigarette pack that contained a bag with a brown powdery substance believed to be heroin, Magri said. Hidden in the headliner on the vehicle’s passenger side were two syringes and two metal spoons commonly used to administer the drug, Magri said.
Blackwell was taken into custody for felony possession of a controlled substance (heroin) and possession of paraphernalia in addition to the warrant from St. Tammany Parish, Magri said.
On Tuesday morning just after 11:30, officers patrolling Greenview Drive noticed a vehicle parked in the roadway that obstructed traffic, Magri said. He said when the officer turned around to talk to the driver, he fled the scene but the officer chased the driver to Walker Street, catching him. The driver was identified as 35-year-old Troy Pitts of 2207 Walker Street, Magri said.
During the stop Pitts first got out of his vehicle and walked to the passenger side, Magri said. Prior to being patted down for weapons for the officer’s safety, Pitts was asked if he had anything in his pocket, to which Pitts admitted to having a bag of marijuana in his pocket, the chief’s administrative assistant said. Magri said the officer found the bag of marijuana in Pitts’ pocket and charged Pitts with possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle.
Also on Tuesday, officers served a search warrant on a home at 139 Greenview Dr., occupied by 21-year-old Willie Jones and 32-year-old Latunia Jenkins, Magri said. Officers previously had conducted surveillance on the home where drug activity was believed to be taking place, Magri said.
Officers could hear the sounds of a toilet flushing as they entered the home and went to investigate, Magri said. The officers found Jones in the bathroom attempting to flush several items down the toilet, Magri said. After a brief struggle, the officers and investigators took Jones into custody and retrieved from the toilet a number of bags of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana along with a large quantity of crack cocaine, Magri said.
Further search of the home discovered several hand-rolled cigarettes containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana along with digital scales, three white pills believed to be a controlled substance and which were sent off to the crime lab for testing, 11 large bags of a substance believed to be marijuana and a large amount of crack cocaine, Magri said.
Jones was taken into custody on two counts of possession of controlled substance with intent to distribute. Jenkins, who was not home at the time of the search, was later charged with possession of a controlled substance since the drugs were found in her home, Magri said.