Prescription transfer leads to five arrests

Published 2:02 pm Thursday, October 30, 2008

An officer’s observations led to the arrest of five suspects in connection with the suspected transfer of prescription medication.

The arrests took place on Oct. 23, at about 11:30 a.m. in the Walgreens parking lot on Mississippi 43 South, said Capt. Theresa Milar, Picayune Police Public information officer.

The officer observed three people enter the store and later leave with one suspect carrying a prescription bag. The three suspects, later identified as Dennis R. Smith, 52, of 28 H.K. Lewis Rd., Carriere; Mark Harris, 29, of 7 Simmons Hill Rd. and Henry Palmer, 30, of 220 Old Creek Rd., Carriere, all got into Smith’s car. The officer then saw what looked to be a hand-to-hand swap of medication between Smith and Palmer. The medication was later found to be Hydrocodone and Soma pills, Milar said.

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Palmer left the vehicle and the officer stopped him to question him, later conducting a pat down. The pat down found a cigarette pack with the pills inside. Smith and Harris were then asked to get out of the vehicle and also were searched. Harris was found to have a silver tube with steel wool inside, which was believed to be a crack pipe, Milar said.

During his questioning of Smith, the officer learned that the suspect had a warrant out for his arrest for contempt of court. Smith denied having any medication when asked by the officer. Smith’s vehicle was searched and the officer found prescription bottles that had just been filled missing a large number of the pills listed on the labels.

Smith was charged with the transfer of a controlled substance and a contempt of court warrant. Harris was charged with conspiracy to transfer a controlled substance and possession of paraphernalia. Palmer was charged with simple possession of a controlled substance.

During the investigation into the matter, a cell phone belonging to one of the suspects rang. An investigator answered it and the person on the other end said they were “ready to do business.” A meeting was set up between the investigators and the person over the phone, which led to the arrest of two more suspects, Jacklyn Jarrell, 27, of 26054 Jarrell Town, Angie La., and Billy Jack Thorman, 30 of 59 Ozona Rd., Carriere.

Jarrell and Thorman were charged with conspiracy to commit a crime. As a result of the second set of arrests, Smith also was charged with conspiracy to sell a controlled substance, Milar said.