By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Officers with the Picayune Police Department arrested several people on drug-related charges.
The first case occurred on Feb. 5, when an officer conducted a stop on a vehicle believed to have been involved in a hit-and-run accident, said Assistant to the Chief of Police Jeremy Magri. The officer found 44-year-old Tracy Bass, of 498 W. Union Rd., behind the wheel, Magri said.
Officers determined that Bass was not responsible for the hit-and-run accident, but she did appear to under the influence of an intoxicating substance, Magri said. The officer also found she was driving without a license, so she was asked to get out of the vehicle, Magri said.
As Bass exited the vehicle, the officer noticed a clear plastic bag containing an off-white, powder-like substance on the driver’s seat where Bass was sitting, Magri said. The substance was later determined to be methamphetamine, he said. The bag was recovered and she was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance in addition to driving without a license, Magri said. A field sobriety test was conducted, which established she was not under the influence, Magri said.
That same day a confidential informant alerted investigators to the possible illegal sale of prescription medication, Magri said. The investigators set up a buy-bust operation where 25-year-old Jordan Calhoun of 163 S. Cherrywood Lane, Pearl River, La., met with the investigators at a local business parking lot, Magri said.
Money was handed to Calhoun, who provided the nine Oxycontin that were later given to the narcotics investigator, Magri said. Calhoun was taken into custody and the money used in the buy was recovered, leading him to be charged with sale of a controlled substance, Magri said.
Another case involved two women who allegedly were involved in filling the prescription of their relative who passed away at the end of January, Magri said. Investigators received a call from a concerned citizen on Feb. 4 that 20-year-old Kaitian Jarrell and 40-year-old Kimberly Jarrell, both of 792 Caesar Rd., were filling prescriptions intended for the deceased relative and possibly selling the medication, Magri said.
The community complaint alleged that a discussion was overheard at a local funeral home concerning plans to fill the prescription of the deceased relative on Feb. 7, Magri said. It was unclear whether the discussion was held during a funeral service, he said.
Detectives with the department confirmed the relative’s death with the county coroner, and then contacted the pharmacy where the pills were being obtained to find out the last time the prescription had been filled, which turned out to be Feb. 4, Magri said. The pharmacy personnel advised the detectives that another prescription of Oxycodone was set for Feb. 6, Magri said. The pharmacy’s staff was advised that the patient had passed away and asked that the department be alerted if attempts were made to fill it again, Magri said.
On Feb. 6, the detectives received a call just after 8 a.m. that the refill had been called in by a person posing as the deceased patient, and that a relative would pick it up, Magri said. Officers arrived and found Kimberly Jarrell waiting in the vehicle, while Kaitian Jarrell went in to pickup the prescription, Magri said.
Officers took both of the women into custody and recovered the bag with the Oxycodone prescription, which had the deceased relative’s name on it, Magri said. Both Kimberly and Kaitian Jarrell were charged with fraud and acquisition, Magri said. A search of their possessions found the deceased relative’s check book, which they were using to purchase the medication. Evidence found in the checkbook showed previous attempts to forge signatures on the checks, Magri said. The check used to purchase that day’s prescription was recovered and the pair was additionally charged with uttering forgery, Magri said.