By Jennifer Lenain, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Deputies arrested a couple on various methamphetamine charges on Tuesday, May 14, following an investigation by Pearl River County Sheriff’s Dept. investigators and the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Deputies also made an arrest for cocaine that same day.
Sheriff’s department narcotics investigators and MDOC parole officers recovered methamphetamine from the residence of Michael L. Varnado, 35, and Sabrina Varnado, 43, located at 122 Elmer-Jackson Road in Carriere.
“Both of them have been under supervision of MDOC,” Chief Investigator Donnie Saucier said. “Michael was on house arrest and Sabrina is on probation.
“Narcotics officers have been receiving information that the Varnados were manufacturing methamphetamine,” he said. The Narcotics Division assisted MDOC with the inspection of the residence.
“Upon inspecting the residence, approximately two-grams of methamphetamine were found,” Saucier said, “along with various precursor chemicals used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.”
“A .22 caliber rifle was found in the residence,” he said.
Officers searched Michael Varnado’s commercial vehicle and recovered a small amount of methamphetamine, Saucier said.
Michael Varnado was arrested for conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, possession of precursor chemicals, two counts felony possession of methamphetamine and convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
Sabrina Varnado was arrested for conspiracy to manufacture a controlled substance, possession of precursor chemicals and one count felony possession of methamphetamine.
“MDOC has put a hold on both Varnados pending revocation,” Saucier said. “They are both being held in the Pearl River County Jail.”
Another arrest was also made on May 14. Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Division investigators conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle at South Beech Street near Herrin Drive, for careless driving and no license plate, Saucier said.
“When investigators approached the vehicle, the driver, Lawrence McDonald, 25, 147 Eloise St., opened the door and investigators observed a large piece of white, rock-lock substance on his lap,” he said.
“At that point, McDonald picked up the rock-like substance and threw it onto the ground,” Saucier said.
Investigators conducted a preliminary field exam that showed the substance positive for the presence of cocaine, he said. “During further investigation, (investigators determined) he did in fact intend to sell the cocaine.”
McDonald was charged with no license plate, careless driving and possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine.
“Following the arrest, an investigator reported that McDonald offered him $1,500 to let him go,” Saucier said.
McDonald also will be presented to a grand jury on a bribery charge.