Deputies recover stolen goods

Published 12:51 am Sunday, January 7, 2007

Two sting operations recovered about $70,000 in stolen equipment and put two suspected drug dealers behind bars.

The first incident took place Thursday when deputies served a search warrant on the home of Greg Smith, 31, 124 Bill Terrell Rd., Carriere, according to a press release from the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department. Two months of investigative work lead to an arrest, Chief Investigator Chris Lott said.

Undercover operations provided deputies with an opportunity to purchase methamphetamine from Smith and the means for a warrant. During a search of the residence deputies discovered a stolen four-wheeler and two pieces of heavy equipment. The release states the equipment is valued at about $70,000.

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“We’ve been receiving information that property was moving through there,” Lott said.

Lott said the stolen property is believed to have been used by Smith and not held for sale later on.

The four-wheeler was reported stolen from somewhere in the county, while the heavy equipment, consisting of a skid steer loader and ski-lift loader, was taken from a storage yard in Picayune, the release stated. Lott said the equipment is owned by a private contractor.

Deputies also discovered about three grams of methamphetamine, Lott said. In addition baggies, scales and other items used in the sale of methamphetamine also were found at the residence, the release stated.

Property recovered in the operation was returned to the owner and Smith was charged with three counts of possession of stolen property, sale of a controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a church and possession of a controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a church.

The next day the department charged another individual with the sale of a controlled substance. The release states that on Friday deputies conducted an undercover operation in the McNeill community. A one-day investigation lead to the arrest of Fred Haynes, 54, 122 Zion Church Rd., McNeill.

“It was a buy and bust operation,” Lott said.

Deputies purchased crack cocaine from Haynes and the same day they charged him with sale of a controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a church and possession of a controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a church with intent to distribute within 1,500 feet of a church, the release states.

Both suspects are awaiting their initial appearance before a justice court judge for bond to be set, the release states. The Smith investigation is still ongoing, Lott said.