Search for missing suspect in roundup catches other suspects

Published 12:37 am Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Two off duty deputies looking for a suspect who eluded capture during phase II of Taking our County Back found three more suspects to arrest instead.

The original suspect was found the next day by an investigator.

Off duty deputies, Abe Villa and Van Giadrosich, using their own time on Saturday attempted to locate Christopher Cowart in Picayune. Instead they found three other suspects who are now charged with possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

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Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief of Investigations Donnie Saucier said the deputies stopped at 1716 Adcox Rd., in an attempt to find 27 year-old Cowart, who was a suspect in Thursday’s drug roundup. Amanda Denise Smith-Emry answered the door and told the deputies that Cowart was not there, inviting them to check the residence.

As the deputies searched the residence they did not find Cowart, but did see what they believed to be a marijuana cigarette. Smith-Emery and two other people in the home at the time, Louis Clay Smith, 25, of 1911 Daniels St., and Thomas James Smith, 31, of 1716 Adcox Rd., were taken into custody. Since no one would say to whom the cigarette belonged, all three were charged with possession of marijuana, Saucier said.

A warrant was secured for the residence and a search of the home found 537 grams of additional marijuana, bagged up in individual baggies for resale, Saucier said. All three were charged additionally with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

On Sunday, the department found Cowart using information that stated he was at a home in the Westchester subdivision. Investigator Rhonda Poche went to check the home at 114 Browning Circle. Poche knocked on the door and asked for Cowart. The woman who answered the door told Poche that he was not there. Poche asked to look around the residence, to which the woman complied, Saucier said.

A search of the home found Cowart hiding under a bed in the back room, Saucier said.

Cowart was taken into custody for two counts of conspiracy to sell a controlled substance and sale of a controlled substance.

Three other suspects the department have been looking for since last week’s drug roundup also have been arrested. On Friday the department found Russell Ladner, 28, of 327 Barth Rd., Poplarville. He was wanted for two counts of sale of a controlled substance. Nick Slade, another suspect, turned himself in that same day for two counts of sale of a controlled substance. Alena Sones, also a suspect in the drug bust, turned herself in Thursday on a charge of sale of a controlled substance, Saucier said.