Sheriff’s Department makes methamphetamine busts

Published 10:36 pm Monday, March 23, 2009

A number of cases were worked by the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department that led to methamphetamine charges.

The first of the three most recently reported cases took place on March 12, on Mississippi Highway 43 South where 29 year-old Russell Ladner and 25 year-old Latasha Dorsey both of 327 Barth Rd., Poplarville, were observed going to multiple pharmacies to purchase Sudafed, said Chief Investigator Donnie Saucier.

That day, the investigators followed Ladner and Dorsey into Wal-Mart and observed them purchase more Sudafed. A traffic stop was conducted and a search found two grams of methamphetamine. Investigation into the matter revealed that the suspects allegedly were traveling from pharmacy to pharmacy to purchase precursor chemicals to manufacture methamphetamine, Saucier said.

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Both Ladner and Dorsey were charged with possession of methamphetamine and conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, Saucier said.

On March 13, a traffic stop in the north bound lanes of Interstate 59 at the seven-mile marker involved two more suspects, 27 year-old James A. Oakes of 123 B. Lakeview Dr. and 20 year-old Jeremy M. Kinsey of 57 Dove Ridge Rd.

Oakes and Kinsey were pulled over on the interstate for littering and during that stop the officer became concerned about the suspects’ actions and demeanor, Saucier said. Consent to search the vehicle was obtained and during that search the officer found four boxes of pseudoephedrine. Investigation into the matter found that also they allegely had been to several pharmacies in the area to purchase the pills and were planning to use those purchases in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Both Oakes and Kinsey were charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, Saucier said.

That same day, two more suspects were charged with similar offenses in a separate case, 30 year-old Charles R. Sasser and 26 year-old Tracy J. Redmond, both of 4 Jimmy Reyer Rd., Poplarville, Saucier said. With the use of a confidential informant and other investigative resources, department investigators were led to Sasser and Redmond’s residence on Jimmy Reyer Road.

A search warrant was secured for the home, and in that search, investigators found about 19 grams of methamphetamine and a plethora of precursor chemicals. An active methamphetamine lab also allegely was discovered in the search, Saucier said. Both Sasser and Redmond were charged with possession of a controlled substance, manufacture of a controlled substance and possession of precursors.

Saucier said methamphetamine is a huge problem in this county and surrounding areas since the items required to manufacture it are easily available. Being able to catch suspects in the beginning stages of collection of ingredients and cooking the drug leads to arrests being conducted before the drug is made, he said.

The maximum sentence for these charges is 30 years, Saucier said, and anyone the department catches with precursor chemicals will be recommended to the district attorney’s office for that maximum sentence.