Deputies arrest several suspects despite the snow

Published 9:47 pm Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just like the post office, county law enforcement will show up at your house in a timely manner, even through rain and snow.

Thursday morning was the first time it has snowed in Pearl River County in a number of years, but it was not the first time suspected drug offenders were awakened early in the morning to be carried to jail.

For about five months the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department has been gathering evidence and information needed to arrest about 27 suspects as part of Operation Taking Our County Back, phase II, said Investigator Rob Williams. Phase III started today, said Sheriff David Allison.

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Teams of Pearl River County deputies and investigators and DEA agents gathered at the county jail at Millard early in the morning to prepare to arrest a total of 27 suspects. As they toured the county before daylight, rain fell most until at about 6:30 when the rain turned to snow.

In Henleyfield, snow gathered on the ground as officers traversed took suspects into custody. Three of the six suspects Allison’s team went to arrest were not at home or had found really good hiding spots. Two of the suspects expressed their displeasure at having their photographs taken for the local news paper as they were escorted through the snow to a warm waiting patrol car.

Allison said the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department will continue to address the county drug problem since it destroys the lives of those who use drugs and the people around them. Selling drugs might seem like a quick way to make some cash, but in the end, it just isn’t worth it, Allison said.

“If you weigh the jail time with the amount of money, it’s not worth giving up your freedom for,” Allison said.

One recent drug-related sentence, Allison said, was for 60 years. The person sentenced is 30 years old and most likely will have to spend the rest of his life in jail. Typically, drug related sentences range from 10 to 30 years, he said.

Seventeen suspects were arrested in Thursday’s snowy operation. Those charged with sale of controlled substance include Linda Flaherty, 56, of 25 Dusty Rose Lane, Carriere; Jesse Gerald, 46, and Peggy Gerald, 48, both of 13 Bennett Apt. Rd. and both charged with two counts; Lena Chahboudagiantz, 54, of 2629 Jackson Landing Rd.; Chad Strange, 30, of 105 Bluebird Lane; Marcia Rench, 56, of 52 McCarty Island Rd.; Tanya Ladner, 35, of 1801 U.S. 11 South; Richard Schmidt, 21, of 231 Jeff Wheat Rd.; Leonard Marshall, 68, of 5 Rail Road St., Carriere; Albert Russell, 22, of 961 Caesar Rd., Carriere; Michael Richardson, 23, of 204 Whitesand Rd., Poplarville and Mark Harris, 28, of 7 Simmons Hill Rd., Carriere.

Robert Meyers, 33, of 1013 Palestine Rd. was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Tammy Smith, 36, of 454 Fairway Dr., Apt. 4, and Cody Melerine, 18, of 799 White Chapel Rd., Carriere, were both charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.

Arron Hume, 26, of 727 Bouie Rd., Carriere was charged with possession of precursor chemicals. Dustin Hostetter, 18, of 529 Old U.S. 11, Carriere, was charged with distribution of marijuana.

Gayden Chadwick, 57, was located at his home at 624 Old Camp Rd., Poplarville, but will be picked up at a later date because he is recovering from an operation, Williams said.

As officers were making contact with Chadwick, they were able to establish charges on another suspect, Mary Riley. Riley, 49, who also lives at 624 Old Camp Rd., and Chadwick were charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana when she was found to be in possession of three grams of methamphetamine and 21 grams of marijuana.

When Strange was taken into custody, he was found to be in possession of individual baggies of marijuana and was additionally charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, Williams said.

Still suspects sought on the charges listed are Cecelia Pierce, 34, 9 Shaina Lane, sale of a controlled substance; Christopher Cowart, 27, 205 Rollingwood Dr., conspiracy to sell a controlled substance and sale of a controlled substance; Henry Palmer, 20, 117 Elmer Jackson Rd., Carriere, sale of a controlled substance; Doris Bonhomme, 32, 708 West St., sale of a controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a school; Virgina Thornton, 54, 43 Robishaw Dr., Carriere, manufacturing a controlled substance; Russell Ladner, 28, 327 Barth Rd., Poplarville, two counts of sale of a controlled substance; Alena Sones, 23, 28 John Amacker Rd., sale of a controlled substance, Avery Graham, 19, 304 Travis Jordan Circle, sale of a controlled substance and Nick Slade, 24, 30 Sport Fish Lane, Poplarville, wanted for two counts of a controlled substance.

People who know they have a drug problem are encouraged to contact Pearl River County Chancery Clerk David Earl Johnson or Allison at 601-403-2340 to seek help.

Williams said the Picayune Police Department also helped with Thursday morning’s operation.