By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Community tips and officers on patrol led to the arrest of several suspects for drug violations.
Assistant to the Chief of Police Jeremy Magri said the first case began as a community complaint that drugs were being sold in front of a local retail store out of a personal vehicle.
On Dec. 18, officers responded to the area of the retailer to attempt to locate the suspect vehicle, a Dodge Durango. Magri said the officer located the vehicle traveling west on Memorial Boulevard and conducted a traffic stop. During the stop one occupant of the vehicle, 21-year-old Brandon Holloway of 1516 S. Grady Ave., got out of the rear passenger side and set a beer can on the ground. Holloway then got back into the vehicle, Magri said.
As the officer approached the vehicle he could smell what appeared to be burning marijuana so the occupants were asked to exit the vehicle. Holloway resisted at first, but when he got out of the vehicle the officer noticed a large bulge in Holloway’s pants leg. Magri said a search of Holloway found a .40 caliber pistol and two bags of marijuana along with a set of scales.
Holloway was then taken into custody for possession of marijuana, possession of a concealed weapon and open beer. Magri said once the officer got Holloway to the Criminal Justice Center the seat where Holloway sat was searched, where the officer found a bag of what he suspected to be cocaine. Holloway was additionally charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, Magri said. In a separate case worked on Dec. 15, an officer patrolling Interstate 59 noticed a Chevrolet Blazer swerve in a dangerous manner, prompting the officer to conduct a stop near exit 1. During the stop the driver, 26-year-old Tiffany Leleck of 71 Liberty Rd., had a noticeably slurred speech and appeared to be under the influence of some kind of substance, Magri said.
Leleck was asked to exit the vehicle and as she complied the officer noticed she was unsteady on her feet and had her hand clenched as though she was holding something. Magri said the officer checked her hand and found eight Oxycodone and four Xanax pills.
An NCIC check showed her driver’s license was suspended for a previous DUI conviction, Magri said. Leleck was given a field sobriety test and subsequently charged with DUI second, driving while license suspended, possession of a controlled substance, felony possession of a controlled substance and no insurance, Magri said.
Another community tip relayed to the department on Dec. 18, brought investigators to the home of 22-year-old Erica McCarthy located at 1601 Sixth Ave., Apt. 6. Magri said the complaint alleged she was in possession of a large amount of marijuana.
When officers arrived they found McCarthy’s door was opened and spoke with a visitor to McCarthy’s home. Magri said the officers then saw McCarthy come into sight from a bedroom. The officers advised McCarthy about the complaint, at which time she turned over a large bag and two smaller bags of marijuana, Magri said. The officers then asked for consent to search her apartment, which she gave, and in that search a set of scales and box of baggies were recovered, Magri said.
Magri said, McCarthy was charged with possession of a controlled substance.