By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Continued investigation into the bust of distribution of prescription medication that took place at a Pearl River County home back in October has led to the arrest of a person charged as one of the alleged suppliers.
Maj. Donnie Saucier with the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department said the continued investigation led to the arrest of 59-year-old Bob Ford, who gave an address of 739 E. Central Ave., Petal, on the charge of conspiracy to sell a controlled substance.
Ford, who was a long-time resident of Picayune, is a former candidate for Pearl River County sheriff and a former Public Service Commission and Mississippi Department of Transportation enforcement officer.
In October 2012, seven people were arrested as part of a surveillance operation that caught several people coming and going to the home of 41-year-old Johnny Baker who at the time lived at 10 Stringer Lane. Baker was charged as a drug distributor. Saucier said evidence collected during that arrest in the form of cell phone and other records gave the department cause to look into the actions of Ford and how those actions played into Baker’s distribution of prescription medication.
Saucier said the investigation showed Ford had been one of the people supplying Baker with the prescription medication, so that evidence was provided to the District Attorney’s office, which in turn presented the case to the Grand Jury in December of last year. An indictment was handed down by the grand jury and a warrant was issued for Ford’s arrest. Saucier said Ford turned himself in on Jan. 7, on the charge.
The reason for the delay in the release of Ford’s arrest was due to the continued investigation that ensued after Ford turned himself in, Saucier said.
Saucier said the investigation shows Ford was allegedly visiting more than one doctor in more than one state to get prescriptions.
While the investigation against Ford is now closed, Saucier said the investigation into other customers and providers in the Baker case is continuing.