By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Narcotics detectives and deputies with the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department, conducting traffic stops and responding to an accident, found several apparent drug violations.
Maj. Donnie Saucier said the first case began on Monday, when a detective stopped a vehicle near the intersection of Palestine Road and Dozier Street because the vehicle did not have a tag.
During the stop the detective came into contact with 22-year-old Demarquise Spanks of 824 Fourth St. As the detective spoke with Spanks, he could detect the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, giving the detective probable cause to search the vehicle, Saucier said.
The search uncovered a plastic bag containing a white powder substance hidden behind the in-dash CD player, Saucier said. A preliminary field test of the substance showed it appeared to be cocaine, leading Spanks to being charged with felony possession of a controlled substance along with no driver’s license, no tag and no insurance, Saucier said.
On Tuesday, a stop conducted by a detective at South Haugh Avenue and Telly Road for no seat belt found 25-year-old Alonzo Pugh Jr., of 610 Fifth St., behind the wheel. Saucier said as the detective gathered information at the stop, he found Pugh’s license was suspended, at which time consent to search the vehicle was requested and granted.
In the search the officer found two plastic bags of what is believed to be marijuana between the front seats, Saucier said. The officer came to the conclusion from his discussion with Pugh that Pugh allegedly was going to sell the marijuana, leading him to be charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and with no seat belt, Saucier said.
Also on Tuesday, a stop was conducted for no tag light on a vehicle traveling on Memorial Boulevard where the officer came into contact with 32-year-old Jamie R. Howard of 824 Lampton Hill Top Rd., Columbia, Saucier said. A check of her license found it had been suspended, Saucier said. Howard’s behavior prompted the officer to ask for consent to search her vehicle, which was granted, Saucier said. During the search, Saucier said the detective found her purse contained two used syringes, a spoon containing a burnt residue and seven methadone pills for which Howard did not have a prescription, Saucier said.
Howard was charged with no tag light, driving while license suspended, possession of paraphernalia and felony possession of a controlled substance, and her vehicle was seized because she was transporting felony narcotics, Saucier said.
On Wednesday a deputy responded to a call of an accident on Rock Ranch Road near Chalk Road. Saucier said when the deputy arrived on scene, he spoke with the occupants of the vehicle, 19-year-old Jacob Metz, of 2433 23rd Ave., Meridian and 21-year-old Audra Pelton of 227 N. James Ave., Summit, who said they fell asleep while driving causing them to leave the road, Saucier said. When the officer first approached the scene, he saw Metz throw an object into the nearby ditch, Saucier said. When deputy checked the area, Saucier said he found two used syringes along with what appeared to be a mobile methamphetamine lab.
A search of the vehicle also uncovered several precursor chemicals and equipment commonly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, Saucier said. Both Metz and Pelton were charged with manufacture of a controlled substance, possession of precursor chemicals, generating hazardous waste, conspiracy to manufacture a controlled substance and possession of paraphernalia, Saucier said.