Drug bust ends with a chase

Published 1:47 am Sunday, July 13, 2008

A drug bust tuned into a car chase when the suspect attempted to elude law enforcement to apparently dispose of 20 pounds of marijuana.

Using information gathered in the past week or so, Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department investigators set up the purchase of about 20 pounds of marijuana early Friday morning, said investigator Lt. Donnie Saucier.

All of the specifics had been set between investigators and the suspect, Terry Nelson, 29, who requested the meet point be at his home, located at 24 Entrekin Rd.

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Circumstances led the investigators to believe that the transaction would take place and that Nelson was in possession of the marijuana, so the deputies and investigators moved into position. They gathered the necessary information to obtain a warrant but were unaware that Nelson was already in his vehicle.

As the officers and investigators moved into position around the perimeter of the home the engine of a silver Chrysler 300 came to life and sped out of the driveway, almost impacting an officer, Saucier said.

Officers gave chase following Nelson to West Union Road, then to Interstate 59 where Nelson is described to have reached speeds of 150 miles per hour. Officers lost sight of Nelson at that speed but knew he exited I-59 at exit 4. Picayune Police assisted in locating Nelson, whose car was found at the intersection of Fannie Avenue and Fifth Street, Saucier said. Nelson nor the marijuana was nowhere to be found though.

After his vehicle was found Nelson tried to contact his girlfriend. An investigator got on the phone and Nelson said he would turn himself in within the hour, which he did to the Picayune Police Department at about 1 a.m., Saucier said.

Officers later found the marijuana in a white garbage bag on the side of the 200 block of Rayburn Road.

A search of Nelson’s home found a .38 caliber hand gun on the front porch, $8,000 in cash, large digital scales and other items used in the packaging of marijuana, Saucier said.

Nelson will be charged on the state level with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and felony eluding and fleeing, Saucier said.

This is an ongoing investigation with DEA and ATF.

“When guns and dope are involved that is something that can hold pretty stiff penalties on the federal level,” Saucier said.

Nelson is being held on a $1 million bond.

Saucier thanks the DEA, ATF and the Picayune Police Department for their assistance with this case.