Suspects arrested in drugs and gun cases

Published 3:09 am Sunday, December 21, 2008

Whether traded for allegedly stolen guns or manufactured in a shed out back, drugs will find a way into people’s hands.

Two separate drugs cases might have had different specifics to them, but both ended in the arrests of suspects by the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department.

The first case began on Dec. 4, with information provided to the Sheriff’s Department from the St. Tammany Sheriff’s Department concerning a theft of a gun in the parish, said Pearl River County Sheriff’s Dept. Chief Investigator Donnie Saucier. He said St. Tammany investigators established 29, year-old Michael Kennedy of 901 Preacher Sones Rd. as a suspect in the missing gun case.

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The next day, at about 1 a.m., the Sheriff’s Department received a call that someone was possibly overdosing at that same address. Investigator Sherman Gashard responded to the location and found Kennedy was the possible overdose patient. He was taken to Highland Community Hospital.

Meanwhile, Gashard noticed some OxyContin pills and a spoon with some burnt residue on the night stand.

Kennedy was released from the hospital after doctors determined he was all right, Saucier said. The department then charged him with felony possession of a controlled substance and also arrested him for the hold from the St. Tammany Sheriff’s Department.

Additional investigation into the matter determined Kennedy may have traded the stolen gun, an AK-47, for OxyContin. The recipient of the gun appeared to be Nathan Falterman, 48, of 27 Sunny Acres in Carriere, Saucier said.

A warrant to search Falterman’s residence was secured and executed Dec. 5. No one was home but the search found syringes, OxyContin and spoons with burnt residue on them in Falterman’s room. A handwritten note describing how much the AK-47 was worth also was discovered in Falterman’s room. Information concerning who wrote the note was not available at press time, but the presence of the note did corroborate information investigators gathered that he had received the gun in exchange for OxyContin, Saucier said.

With that information, a warrant was secured for Falterman’s arrest, which was served on Dec. 9 when Sheriff’s Department personnel found him at a convenience store in the Mill Creek community. Falterman was questioned and he eventually led them to a wooded area in the Mill Creek community where the AK-47 was stashed, Saucier said.

Falterman is charged with felony possession of a controlled substance but other charges may be pressed at a later time as the investigation proceeds, Saucier said.

Assistance in that investigation was provided by the St. Tammany Sheriff’s Department, Saucier said.

A separate investigation on Dec. 18, found what appeared to be several instances of methamphetamine being cooked, a small amount of methamphetamine and marijuana between two residences and a shed.

Armed with three search warrants obtained with information gained by intelligence operations, investigators went to 4 Bazor Rd., 6 Bazor Rd. and a shed at 6 Bazor Rd., Saucier said. The search of 6 Bazor Rd., turned up what is believed to be a methamphetamine lab and a small amount of the drug.

In the shed behind the residence, investigators found the remnants of what is believed to have been several sessions of cooking methamphetamine and two marijuana plants. The resident of 6 Bazor Rd., 30 year-old Wallace Bazor, was not home and is now wanted for manufacture of a controlled substance, manufacture of marijuana and possession of precursor chemicals.

At 4 Bazor Rd., investigators found precursor chemicals and three bags of marijuana. The resident of the home, Howard Lane Bazor, 48, was taken into custody for manufacturing a controlled substance and possession of marijuana. Another resident of that address, Rita Ray Stooner, 55, was charged with manufacture of a controlled substance, Saucier said.

While investigators were conducting their search of the structures, Aaron Glen Culpepper, 48, of 213 Osborn Moody Rd., Poplarville drove up to the area, Saucier said. He was questioned, searched and investigators found marijuana and beer on him. Culpepper was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of beer. Culpepper is believed to have been attempting to visit the other suspects, Saucier said.