Deputies make arrests for cocaine, bad checks and a commercial burglary

Published 7:33 pm Friday, April 18, 2008

Cocaine possession, fraudulent checks, the commercial burglary of a concession stand, and community complaints were all wrapped up with the arrest of suspects.

Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Investigator Maj. Shane Tucker said that at about 2:30 a.m. April 12, the department’s Interstate Criminal Enforcement unit pulled over a north-bound 2002 Cadillac Deville at the 35 mile marker on Interstate 59. During the stop the deputy noticed his K-9 unit alert to the trunk of the car. A search of the trunk produced about a half pound of cocaine from some luggage. The deputy also found other items used in the sale of the substance.

The suspect, Michael James Standridge, 26, of Houston Texas, was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, Tucker said.

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Tucker said the ICE unit has produced cases varying from bootleg CD arrests and other media to a number of narcotics arrests.

“He nets a lot of benefit to the Sheriff’s Department with what he does out there,” Tucker said.

On April 6, a concession stand near the Pearl River Central Middle School was reported to have had about $1,000 in merchandise stolen from it. Tucker said investigators believe that the stand was broken into sometime between April 5, and 6.

A number of bottled drinks, Cracker Jacks, individual bags of chips and boxes of candy was reported stolen. Tucker said it appeared the suspect gained entry to the stand by forcing the door.

Thanks to information provided by the community on April 13, investigators went to 178 Ruston Rd., the home of Joseph Anthony Peoples, 17, where the stolen merchandise was said to be. There they found enough evidence to request a search warrant.

Inside the home investigators found the stolen goods.

“With the exception of what was consumed over the last several days,” Tucker said.

Peoples is being charged as an adult with the felony charge of commercial burglary, Tucker said.

A traffic stop of an SUV in the south bound lane of interstate 59 at the 20 mile marker on April 4, produced what appeared to be a case of counterfeit checks, Tucker said.

All three suspects in the vehicle were found to be in possession of altered driver’s licenses from other states and fraudulent checks with fake account numbers in two of the suspects’ names.

Suspects in the case were Gerald Jenkins, 27, and Corey Lee Jones, 34, both of Milwaukee, Wisc. and Shedrick Gregory, 24, of Louisville Ky. Since none of the blank checks were in Gregory’s name he was not charged by Pearl River County, but was turned over to Lousiana officials for a warrant believed to be for bad checks, Tucker said.

In the vehicle were a number of new electronic devices and blank checks. When questioned, each suspect gave conflicting stories. Jones and Jenkins had false identification on them that, through further investigation, matched the blank checks. Investigators called the banks listed on the checks, which indicated the account numbers did not exist. More than 100 blank checks had been printed out, apparently by one of the laptops in the suspect’s possession.

“There were several states where they had purchased items using the checks,” Tucker said.

Receipts from Illinois, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Kentucky were found in the SUV.

Since the remaining two suspects did not use any of the bad checks in Mississippi, Jenkins, Jones and the case will be turned over to the Secret Service, Tucker said.

On April 9, the narcotics division received information that Jason House, 23, at 2 B.J. Alsobrooks Rd. had a stash of marijuana, said Investigator Lt. Donnie Saucier. Using that information, investigators went to House’s home. So his neighbors would not see law enforcement officials outside his home, he invited the investigators inside. After investigators told House what they were there for, he consented to a search of his home.

During the search, investigators found about 106 grams of marijuana, 21 and a half methadone pills, 0.1 grams of cocaine, a Kal Tec 5.56 millimeter assault rifle, a Mossburg riot shotgun, a Marlin .30-30 caliber rifle and $1,900 in currency, Saucier said.

All of the narcotics, firearms and money were confiscated.

House was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, felony possession of methadone and possession of cocaine. For each of those charges, he was charged with possession of a firearm while in possession of a controlled substance, Saucier said.