By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Text messages advertising an after prom party alerted local and state law enforcement officials to a party that involved minors consuming alcohol and narcotics.
Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Investigator Donnie Saucier said the department and Alcohol Beverage Control for Mississippi received tips from community members from April 3 to April 6, alleging that text messages had been sent out advertising a party scheduled to take place after Poplarville High School’s prom.
The party was set for Saturday, and the texts advertised attendees should bring their own alcohol, marijuana or any other drugs, Saucier said. Based on the information provided and collected, Saucier said the department was able to obtain an anticipatory warrant, which meant if officers arrived at the home to find what appeared to be a party involving minors consuming alcohol or drugs, then the search would be warranted.
Saturday night, officers arrived at the home of 47-year-old Kristie Fairchild at 125 Ben Sones Rd., Poplarville, to find a party of about 100 people in full swing, Saucier said. As plain clothes officers observed the party, they noted that most of the attendees were less than 18 years old, some of whom were seen to be drinking alcohol, Saucier said.
The plain clothes officers walked onto the property undetected and saw a number of underage individuals consuming alcohol in addition to detecting the odor of burning marijuana, Saucier said.
Arresting officers were notified and when they arrived, they identified themselves as law enforcement and made contact with Fairchild, who was determined to be host to the festivities, Saucier said.
As she was advised she was being taken into custody on the charge of social hosting, which entails allowing underage drinking to take place on her property, she resisted arrest and had to be taken to the ground in order to be handcuffed, Saucier said.
While Fairchild was being arrested, a juvenile family member and the suspected source of the text message, ran up to the arresting officer and punched him in the face, Saucier said. The juvenile was then taken to the ground and handcuffed, Saucier said. After the juvenile family member was cuffed, the juvenile continued to fight with officers, Saucier said.
ABC officers then split the group of about 100 people into groups by ages, which included juveniles younger than 18, and juveniles between the ages of 18- to 20-years-old. Every individual at the home was asked to take a portable breathalyzer test, where it was established several juveniles between the ages of 13 to 17-years-old apparently had alcohol in their blood stream, Saucier said. Some juveniles aged between 18 and 20-years-old also had alcohol in their blood stream, Saucier said.
Juveniles who were less than 18-years-old were taken home by their parents or a representative of the family after being notified of the situation, Saucier said.
A search of the home found beer, marijuana, spice and prescription medication in various areas of the property, including exterior locations around the home where it appears to have been discarded by attendees when law enforcement arrived, Saucier said.
Fairchild was charged with social hosting, possession of marijuana, possession of beer in a dry county, possession of bonded whiskey, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. The juvenile family member was charged with possession of Xanax, possession of alcohol in a dry county, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, obstructing the arrest of another and felony assault on a law enforcement officer, Saucier said.
Saucier said the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department knows prom is a big event for a lot of young people and does not discourage students from having a good time.
“However, we won’t allow these types of mass gatherings where alcohol is consumed and (where) under age drinkers drive,” Saucier said.