Board hears complaint for drugs

Published 1:54 pm Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A complaint of improper deputy conduct was heard by the Board of Supervisors.

A number of county residents talked to members of the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors at their Monday morning meeting alleging that a traffic stop turned ugly.

County resident Ethel Kempe said her nephew was pulled over on Sept. 2, the day after Hurricane Gustav. Instead of stopping when the deputy turned on his lights her nephew drove on to his mother, Carrie Spencer’s house. Spencer said when she was told her son was pulled over in her front yard she went outside to see the deputy holding her son down with a gun pointed to his head.

Deputies apparently found a bag of marijuana on him, and a firearm, Kempe said. He was carrying the gun to protect himself from looters after the storm had passed, though Kempe admits he should have left it at home. Spencer said her son was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

Sheriff David Allison said he was told of the incident on Tuesday by narcotics investigator, Donnie Saucier. Saucier told Allison about the suspected drug activity and that there was some trouble from the surrounding residents. Allison said that to his recollection, the department has had dealings with Spencer’s son before, but was did not have records in front of him to back that up at press time.

Allison said ever since they have been investigating information about drug activity in that area, family members of the suspects come out and give the deputies problems. He said this is the third time the department has had dealings with the same individuals over drugs and every time the suspect’s family causes problems. During one of those incidents, cocaine was found at one of the suspect’s homes, Allison said.

Kelly Fairconetue said her juvenile sons were pulled into the incident that same day and searched, which she says was unwarranted.

“We’re gonna have to relocate because we don’t trust the Sheriff’s Department,” Fairconetue said.

The juveniles were searched to make sure there were no weapons around for the safety of the deputies and civilians, Allison said. When Allison tried to talk to some of the juveniles during the incident, one of them turned his back on him and walked away.

“I tried to talk to one of the juveniles and they were rude with me,” Allison.

When Allison went to talk to the juvenile and ask for identification, the juvenile refused, until his mother told him to do so.

Another reportedly threatened an officer, which also lead to the search, he said.

Allison said citizens should be aware when the department receives information of drug activity investigators will check it out.

“Get out of the drug business or get out of the county,” Allison said.

During the meeting, District I Supervisor Anthony Hales suggested they find an agency to file a complaint with or attempt to address their concerns with Allison directly.

At the board’s request, County engineer Les Dungan checked in to how much obligation the county would be in if the board chose to help the Pearl River County School District build a road to the proposed new school site in Carriere. The topic was brought up at a previous board meeting where Superintendent Dennis Penton asked the board for financial help building the road, which would run along the west side of Interstate 59 connecting West Union Road with Anchor Lake Road. Dungan estimated the cost just to construct the two-and-a-half miles of road would be about $2 million. Land acquisition would add about another million to that tab, Dungan said.

“That’s a lot of commitment ain’t it,” Hales said.

District III Supervisor Hudson Holliday said if the school is proposing to build a new school, it should have the money to build any roads that are also needed.

“All I can say is show me the money and we’ll do it,” Holliday said.

Holliday said he would like to help the school district but he realizes that without an Interstate off ramp at Anchor Lake Road, the new road would attract a lot of traffic, wearing out the road.

County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin was asked for an update on the progress of the new Chimney Square. Lumpkin said the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has signed off on the building’s plans, and now the board is waiting on approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The board went into executive session to discuss awarding a contract on three bridge projects. One project is on Beech Road in Poplarville and the other two are on Old Kiln Road. After the executive session the board awarded the bid to Buford Construction for about $251,000, Lumpkin said.

In other business the board;

The next board meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Sept. 15 in the board room.