Drug busts turn up both crack and powder cocaine and marijuana

Published 11:11 pm Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Two separate cases worked by Picayune Police investigators involved two types of cocaine and also marijuana in the second case.

One of those cases was the product of an undercover officer’s observance of a suspect talking about a drug deal on a cell phone while the second began as part of an anonymous tip, according to press releases from the department.

Both cases occurred over the past weekend in the parking lot of Winn-Dixie north. The suspect in the first case was listed as Irvin Richardson Jr. 21, of 2209 McGehee Lane and the suspect in the second case is Karen Stewart, 43, of 817 Cayten St. Both suspects were charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute within 1,500 feet of a school or church. Stewart was additionally charged with possession of marijuana.

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The release states that as an undercover investigator was working an investigation at the Winn-Dixie parking lot on Friday, he overheard Richardson arranging a sale of crack cocaine on his cell phone. After the investigator overheard the conversation between Richardson and the unknown female, he confronted Richardson.

A search of Richardson’s vehicle ensued and the investigator found a plastic baggy containing what is suspected to be crack cocaine, the release states. Richardson was then arrested and charged.

The second case began after an investigator was notified by an anonymous informant that Stewart was planning to take a trip to obtain some cocaine and bring it back to Picayune, the release states. After two days of surveillance, Stewart left her home early in the morning and got onto Interstate 59 heading south towards New Orleans.

About two hours later Stewart returned to Picayune, turning into the Winn-Dixie parking lot near exit 6. After the informant told the investigator that Stewart had secured the cocaine during her trip, an investigative stop was performed. The investigator approached the driver’s side of Stewart’s car and could see her attempt to hide a plastic baggy containing a white powder substance, believed to be cocaine, the release states.

Stewart was arrested, advised of her Miranda rights and transported to the criminal justice center, the release states. She then provided a written statement stating she went to New Orleans and picked up cocaine from an individual who owed her money. According to her statement, she was then going to bring the drug back to Picayune for use as payment to another person for work done to her vehicle.

The release also states that Stewart told the investigator that she had marijuana and smoking paraphernalia at her home. Consent was provided for a search of her home and investigators found several bags of marijuana and a large amount of smoking paraphernalia.