By Jennifer Lenain, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Picayune Police Department safety checkpoint led to police officers making drug arrests.
On North Beech Street at Long Bridge on Friday, July 5, a green, Ford F-150 pickup arrived at the checkpoint and the driver, Antoine Darnell Cooper, 29, failed to provide a driver’s license, said Jeremy Magri, assistant to the chief of police.
“Cooper was asked to provide his name and he told officers that his last name was Davis,” Magri said. “An officer at the scene knew Cooper and accurately identified him.”
Cooper was then asked to get out of the vehicle and placed under arrest for providing false identifying information to a police officer, said Magri.
“When Cooper’s information was ran,” he said, “we were advised that he had a suspended driver’s license and outstanding warrants with other agencies.”
Cooper also was unable to provide proof of insurance, Magri said.
“An inventory of the vehicle was conducted,” Magri said. “Located in the rear seat area was a digital scale that contained a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana.
“Officers found $1,153 in cash on Cooper,” he said, and his vehicle was towed.
“He was transported and booked for false identifying information to a police officer, suspended driver’s license, no insurance and possession of marijuana,” Magri said.
Cooper was also booked on the holds for other agencies, Magri said.
On June 29, Picayune police officers were dispatched to a motel on Highway 11 North in reference to a 911 hang-up call.
“Upon arrival, officers spoke to Jason LaFrance, 42, of Picayune,” Magri said.
LaFrance stated that he and his girlfriend “had been arguing and she asked him to leave,” said Magri.
Officers were assisting LaFrance with retrieving his property from the motel room when an officer saw a box containing “a glass pipe, two metal pipes, a metal grinder and a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana,” Magri said.
LaFrance admitted it was his, said Magri.
“He was arrested and transported to the Criminal Justice Center where he was booked for possession of a controlled substance,” Magri said.
Earlier, on June 20, an anonymous complaint landed one Picayune man in jail on charges of public drunk, Magri said. The report on the incident had only recently been released, he said.
Patrol officers were dispatched to Mickey’s #1 in reference to an intoxicated male that was later identified as Robert Kekko, 56, of 191 Will Thompson Rd., said Magri.
“Officers observed Kekko fumbling and fidgeting as he was checking out at the register,” Magri said. “He was dropping coins out of his pockets will he was attempting to pay for his items.”
Kekko, unsteady on his feet, spoke with a slur while conversing with the store clerk, said Magri.
“Kekko was escorted in front of a patrol car,” he said. “He stated that he had consumed an unknown quantity of hydrocodone pills earlier in the day.”
Officers conducted a “pat down search” on Kekko and found a pill bottle in his left pant’s pocket, said Magri.
Two pills were found in the bottle and identified by Poison Control as hydrocodone and oxycodone, said Magri.
Kekko was transported to the Criminal Justice Center and charged with public drunk and two counts possession of a controlled substance, Magri said.