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15 suspects picked up for drug charges

Fifteen suspects were picked up for drug related charges in the latest drug round up by the Picayune Police Department and two other suspects are awaiting their day in court on charges they face.

The roundup began at about 5 a.m. Friday continues, said Deputy Chief David Ervin. During that time, a sweep of the area began and 15 alleged drug dealers were hunted down with warrants.

Approximately three months of work produced the warrants that would be used to bring those suspects into custody and off the streets.

“We feel it was very successful in eliminating some of the alleged drug violators from our streets,” Ervin said.

In the past the department has used sting tactics to get the suspects to come to them, but this time they used the old fashioned approach.

“This time we went to them,” Ervin said.

Chief Jim Luke has said drug dealers have three choices.

“I said that when I became chief and I’ll say it today, get out of town, get out of the business or we’re coming for them. And on Friday we came for them,” he said.

Luke said the elimination of drugs in the community also has a lasting effect on decreasing other crime in the city.

Ervin said some of the sales caught by the surveillance teams were within 1,500 feet of a school, but none were caught selling the drugs on school property. If a charge is combined with the stipulation of within 1,500 feet of a church, school or playground, then the penalty is enhanced, he said.

Surveillance was provided in part with the support of the mayor and the city council who helped to get the department new equipment and additional manpower. The high tech equipment allows the investigators to conduct surveillance of the sales by offenders, Ervin said. Through the use of that equipment, crime will be drastically reduced in the city, he said.

Suspects arrested in the operation as of Tuesday afternoon are Shanesia Bethel, 24, of 1500 Bogan Cr., charged with two counts of the sale of crack cocaine; Linda D. Clayborne, 36, 1005 Clarenda St., charged with conspiracy to commit a crime; Jeffery Ferguson, 41, 2123 Morris St., charged with sale of crack cocaine; Fecil Jenkins, 55, 301 S. Blanks Ave., charged with two counts of sale of crack cocaine; Gregory Jones, 44, 417 Second St., charged with sale of crack cocaine; Patrick Tyson, 28, 605 Sherd St., charged with sale of crack cocaine; a juvenile, 15, charged with sale of crack cocaine; Joye Drummond, 36, 2123 Morris St., charged with sale of crack cocaine and Carlos Nixon, 21, 1005 Merrydale Dr., charged with the sale of a controlled substance.

As of Tuesday afternoon warrants there were still out for Akinsole Berry, 27, 402 S. Blanks Ave.; Patrick Tyson, 28, 2501 Union School Rd.; Stanley Aultman, 25, 803 Lakewood Ave.; David Sanders, 41, 239 Cooper Rd., Columbia; Carmen Moseley, 31, 126 Stephens Rd., Petal and Vince Stewart, 42, address unknown, all wanted for sale of a controlled substance.

In an unrelated incident that occurred on Tuesday, March 20, a suspect later identified as Aundera Dejurnette Jr., 23, of 102 Abbott St., ran from an officer attempting to conduct a traffic stop for reckless driving. At about 9:15 a.m. as the officer attempted the traffic stop, Dejurnette make an abrupt turn onto North Haugh Avenue at a high rate of speed, causing the vehicle to slide sideways on the road, a release from the Picayune Police Department states.

At that point the officer activated the blue lights and siren in an attempt to stop Dejurnette, but Dejurnette sped away. The officer continued the pursuit on North Haugh near Fifth Street where the vehicle hit a power pole guideline and a fire hydrant. Dejurnette fled the vehicle on foot with a white plastic bag in tow. Ervin said officers went in to assist the officer pursuing the suspect by setting up a perimeter around the area. Dejurnette was apprehended between North Steele Avenue and Fourth Street, Ervin said.

During the pursuit Ervin said Dejurnette did not try dump the white plastic bag or its contents. When Dejurnette was captured, officers found a couple of pounds of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana, Luke said.

Ervin speculates that Dejurnette did not try to dump the bag because he thought he could get away.

Dejurnette is charged with reckless driving, failure to yield to blue lights, feloniously resisting arrest by fleeing in a motor vehicle, resisting arrest by fleeing on foot, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute within 1,500 feet of a church, no proof of insurance, expired tag and disorderly conduct.

In another incident, the suspect involved in the Pit Stop robbery, which took place on Sept. 25, 2006, was brought back to Picayune Thursday morning. Jael Fraise, 30, last known address of 160 Arbor Gate Cr. Apt. E was picked up Wednesday, Feb. 28, in Needles, Calif. and is being charged with the robbery of the Pit Stop. Fraise is in the Pearl River County jail waiting on his court date with the Pearl River County Circuit Court, Ervin said.