Picayune PD makes arrests

Published 12:42 am Sunday, February 8, 2009

Picayune PD makes arrests

By Jeremy Pittari

Item Staff Writer

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Officers working the major and minor roads in Picayune arrested a number of suspects for breaking the law.

Two stops on Interstate 59 brought about drugs charges in one of the incidents and the seizure of money in the second. The money is believed to be involved in illegal immigration. Other drug related cases were also worked at other locations in the Picayune area, according to a press release from the Picayune Police Department.

The drug related incident on I-59 took place Jan. 31, at the six mile marker. After the officer stopped the suspect, later identified as 41 year-old Charlotte A. Harmon of 18 Willow Grove Rd., New Brunswick, Maine, for careless driving he could smell burnt marijuana emanating from the vehicle.

Consent to search the vehicle was obtained from Harmon and a felony amount of what is suspected to be marijuana was found in the vehicle. She was charged with felony possession of marijuana.

On Jan. 27, officers made another traffic stop at the three mile marker on I-59 due to an obstructed tag. As officers spoke with the driver, who was unidentified in the release since no charges were pressed by the Picayune Police, the suspect acted nervous and gave a false story about where she had been and for what purpose, the release states. Officers searched the vehicle and found evidence that showed she lied about her story, said Deputy Chief David Ervin.

Officers then searched her vehicle and found about $22,130 worth of cash. The unidentified suspect then told officers that the reason for the trip was to transport three illegal immigrants to Atlanta, Ga. The money was seized as evidence of the trafficking and the suspect was turned over to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement for investigation.

In a separate incident a tip concerning drug activity led officers to 1107 Rosa St., Ervin said. As the officer approached the home burnt marijuana could be smelled so a search warrant was requested, the release states. As the officers waited for the warrant 39 year-old Laqurrel D. McDowell of 1210 Pinewood St., ran from the house out the back door. Officers gave chase and apprehended him.

After the search warrant arrived officers found several burnt hand rolled cigars suspected to contain marijuana, a ziplock bag containing several smaller bags of marijuana and a separate bag of marijuana, a metal can containing what is suspected to be cocaine residue, $310 in cash and a plastic pill bottle containing Lorcet pills.

McDowell and the two residents of the home, 42 year-old Robert E. Jefferson and 33 year-old Lashawnta Rancifer were arrested. Jefferson was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute within 1,500 feet of a school, possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance. Rancifer was charged with possession of a controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a school. McDowell was charged with possession of paraphernalia for a crack pipe officers found on him.

Another incident on Jan. 27, involved what officers suspected to be a hand to hand drug transaction, the release states. Officers moved in and arrested Rolland T. Marks, 28, of 520 S. Beech St. and Tiffany Slatten, 19, of 300 N. Beech St. Slatten was charged with possession of marijuana and Marks was charged with sale of a controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a school or church.

As officers were working the scene Jared M. Johnson, 37, of 701 Idlewild Dr. approached the officers in an aggressive manner, demanding to know what the officers were doing. Officers patted Johnson down for their safety given his demeanor and found a bag of marijuana on him, Ervin said. Johnson appeared to have been acquainted with at least one if not both suspects. He was charged with possession of marijuana.

The last recently reported incident took place on Jan. 24, where another hand to hand drug transaction was suspected to have taken place. As officers attempted to make the arrest Levester Perkins Jr., 20, of 506 S. Blanks Ave. ran. Officers chased and caught Perkins but he fought and broke free, running again. After officers again chased and caught Perkins he was charged with sale of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest by fighting and resting arrest by fleeing, the release states. Ervin said tazers or mace was not used in the arrest of Perkins.

Cordell Myles, 18, of 1403 Seventh Ave. was also arrested due to his part in the incident for possession of marijuana, the release states.