By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Two cases of shoplifting and a report of possible drug activity led to the arrest of suspects.
Both cases of shoplifting occurred at Wal-Mart, where responding Picayune police officers found drugs on at least one of the suspects, said Assistant to the Chief of Police Jeremy Magri.
On Friday officers were sent to the retailer in reference to several people being taken into custody for their part in shoplifting. Magri said officers arrived and spoke with loss prevention personnel, which had 20-year-old Angela George of 28 Windy Acres Rd., in custody. Interviews and investigation determined George apparently had taken some items from the store so she was charged with shoplifting, Magri said.
As the officers escorted her out of the building they came across two of her acquaintances, 18-year-old Stephon Lee of 307 Bruce Street and a 16-year-old male juvenile, with whom she had arrived at the store, Magri said.
Magri said the juvenile became verbally abusive, leading officers to take the juvenile into custody. As the officer conducted a pat down of the juvenile, a cigarette pack was found that also contained a hand-rolled cigarette containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana, Magri said. The juvenile refused to cooperate further and attempted to jerk away from police custody, forcing officers to physically restrain the suspect after which the suspect made verbal threats against the officer, Magri said.
An inventory was taken of Lee’s vehicle after the three suspects were taken into custody, and more of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana was found, leading Lee to be charged with possession of marijuana and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, Magri said.
George was additionally charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and possession of marijuana, while the juvenile was charged with possession of marijuana, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest by fighting, possession of tobacco by a minor and simple assault by threat of a law officer, Magri said.
On Saturday officers responded to the area of South Beech Street and Palestine Road in reference to suspected drug activity. Magri said the complainant advised officers that as the driver of a vehicle left the store at that intersection he could smell the odor of burnt marijuana on the suspect’s person and inside the vehicle.
The suspect’s vehicle was located on Beech Street and a stop was conducted where officers came into contact with the driver identified as 34-year-old Lionell Lewis of 715 S. Haugh Ave., Apt. G-49, Magri said.
While approaching the vehicle, the officer noticed Lewis was moving around the vehicle suspiciously, and as the officers spoke with Lewis, the smell of burnt marijuana was detected prompting the officer to request Lewis to step out of the vehicle, Magri said. A check of Lewis’ driver’s license found it to be expired for failure to pay child support, leading him to be charged with driving while license suspended, Magri said. During an inventory of the vehicle the officer located a hand-rolled cigarette containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana, leading to an additional charge of possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle, Magri said.
After being taken to the Criminal Justice Center, Lewis was asked if he had any other contraband on his person, which he denied, Magri said. During booking a complete search of his person uncovered a bag of suspected marijuana in Lewis’ posterior region, leading to an additional charge of felony possession of a controlled substance in a correctional facility, Magri said.
On Wednesday officers were again sent to Wal-Mart in reference to shoplifting. Magri said when officers arrived employees had 25-year-old Kayla Page of 25 Easy St. in custody. Investigation into the case showed she apparently had attempted to steal undergarments and a purse, Magri said.
A search of her person and belongings found two doses of Suboxone in her purse, for which she could not show a prescription, Magri said. Page was charged with shoplifting and two counts of possession of a controlled substance, Magri said.