FEMA employee arrested for marijuana

Published 12:10 am Sunday, May 18, 2008

Five sets of arrests by the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department involved investigative surveillance, observations of an off duty deputy, a welfare check and one FEMA employee suspected of selling marijuana.

The first arrest occurred on May 6, after investigators with the department received information about Jonathan Kenmar, 25, of #2 Sandy Hill Rd., Lumberton allegedly being involved in illegal activity.

Information provided to the department lead to surveillance. That surveillance lead to a traffic stop at County Farm Road and Sandy Hill Road where investigators searched the vehicle and found about a gram of methamphetamine, prescription narcotic medication and a misdemeanor amount of marijuana, said Lt. Donnie Saucier.

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Kenmar and his passenger, Jennifer Edwards, 24, of 201 Charleston St., Cave City, Ark., were charged with felony possession of a controlled substance and two misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance, Saucier said. The 2002 Dodge 1500 pickup truck the two suspects were riding in was confiscated, he said.

In the second incident, deputies who were checking on the welfare of a citizen arrested her for allegedly being in possession of about six grams of crack cocaine. The arrest took place on May 9, at 1801 U.S. 11 S. Lot 42, the home of Lashunda Jones.

Another citizen called the sheriff’s department worried that Jones had not been heard from in a reasonable amount of time. When deputies arrived at the home of Jones, 35, they found no one at home, Saucier said. As they were checking out the residence, Jones arrived on scene. Deputies investigated the situation and found the alleged narcotic substance. She was arrested for possession of crack cocaine.

The next day, May 10, an off duty narcotics investigator was at the Bill Watson Ball Park in Poplarville when he noticed a man who appeared to be intoxicated. The officer saw the suspect exhibit behavior that made him appear unfit for driving as the he went to leave the ball field.

“The deputy felt he was too intoxicated to leave and stopped him,” Saucier said.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol was called to the scene and a trooper checked the suspect, identified as James Lorio, 33, of 1224 Wilmuth St., Bogalusa, La., for intoxicating substances. They then charged the Lorio with DUI. Sheriff’s Department investigators also were called out and searched Lorio, who was allegedly in possession of two doses of methadone, Saucier said. Lorio was charged with possession of a controlled substance by those investigators.

When a woman who goes by the alias “Blind Lady” asked her nephew to deliver a large amount of marijuana, both she and her nephew were arrested. Saucier said that on Monday investigators had finally set a time to meet with Helen Keller, 53, of 96 Ruston Rd., after the third or fourth attempt. Saucier said she goes by the alias “Blind Lady.”

In that final call Keller indicated she was sending her nephew, Byron Lossett, 32, of 108 Ruston Rd. to meet the buyers.

Lossett arrived at the designated location, 21 Will Thompson Rd., where investigators had set up surveillance. They saw Lossett allegedly remove a clear plastic bag containing a green vegetative material from within a truck tool box, Saucier said. Investigators arrested Lossett and recovered the quarter pound of marijuana they had ordered in the phone conversations with Keller, Saucier said.

Lossett was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

In a written statement by Lossett, he stated his aunt had sent him to make the sale. Based on that statement and the previous phone conversations, investigators went to Keller’s home and she was charged with transfer of a controlled substance, Saucier said.

A FEMA employee was allegedly involved in the trafficking of marijuana as well, Saucier said. On Wednesday, investigators used a confidential informant to set up a buy with the suspect, identified as Justin Weysham, 30, of 11020 Wilson St., Bay St. Louis, Saucier said.

Weysham showed up to the buy location at 3113 Miss. 43 S., where they saw him drive up in a white Chevrolet Impala. Investigators stopped him and found the half pound of marijuana. Weysham was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Saucier said Weysham listed his employer as FEMA on the arrest report.

Saucier said it is the policy of the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department to arrest any person, regardless of who they are, if they are caught in wrong doing.

“No matter who you are, you will be arrested and prosecuted,” Saucier said.