By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Officers with the Picayune Police Department investigated three cases that led to drug charges.
The first case came as the result of a complaint filed as drug paraphernalia found in a room; the second case was in response to a one vehicle accident that led to DUI and drug charges, and the third was the result of officers observing an alleged drug transaction outside a local business.
Assistant to the Chief of Police Jeremy Magri said the first case began on Feb. 27, when officers went to a home at 1290 S. Beech St., in response to the discovery of what was believed to be drug paraphernalia in a bedroom.
Magri said officers arrived and spoke with the complainant who said a glass pipe was seen on the floor of a bedroom of the home. Officers spoke with the occupant of the bedroom, 31-year-old Lauren Bales, who upon questioning retrieved the pipe from a drawer in her room, Magri said. He said examination of the pipe determined that it contained what appeared to be residue from methamphetamine. Further searching of the room found an Adderall pill in her backpack, Magri said. He said Bales was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of paraphernalia.
Officers responding to a one vehicle accident on Interstate 59 just before midnight Friday came into contact with the driver, 50-year-old Arthur Creed of 45 Darby Lane, Carriere. While speaking with Creed officers noticed he appeared intoxicated, leading officers to ask him to submit to a field sobriety test, to which Creed agreed, Magri said.
The field sobriety test resulted in Creed being charged with DUI, and a search of his vehicle found four Diazepam under the seat, a total of 56 Hydrocodone pills, most of which were in a bottle in the center console, and three Somas in a bottle labeled for anti-diarrheal medication, Magri said. Creed then was charged with four counts of possession of a controlled substance, Magri said.
Also on Friday, narcotics officers observed what they thought was a drug transaction taking place outside of a Jackson Landing Road convenience store, Magri said. He said the officers saw one suspect, 28-year-old Chance Maher of 119 U.S. Highway 11 South, enter a parked vehicle at the business. Already in the car were 25-year-old Preston Baker of 605 Boler St., and 24-year-old Cruiz Dugas of 502 West St., Magri said.
Magri said the officers noticed that as Maher entered the vehicle he acted suspiciously and once he was inside the vehicle, officers saw what appeared to be a drug transaction take place. Officers moved in and asked the suspects to get out of the vehicle, Magri said. As Maher exited the passenger side of the vehicle and Baker exited the driver’s seat, the officers noticed digital scales between the two front seats, Magri said. Dugas exited the rear seat, Magri said.
After Maher got up from his passenger seat, officers also noticed a plastic baggy containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana, Magri said. He said further search of the vehicle found a larger bag of the same substance containing 11 smaller bags of marijuana, leading Baker and Dugas to be charged with sale of a controlled substance. Maher was charged with possession of a controlled substance, Magri said.
The 1999 GMC Z71 Baker was driving along with $271, found in a search of the vehicle and suspects, was seized since both were involved in the apparent drug transaction, Magri said.