Picayune police officers arrest several on drug charges

Published 12:23 am Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Three separate traffic stops conducted by Picayune Police Department detectives pulled in a number of suspects for drug related charges.

Those charges ranged from possession of precursor chemicals to selling a controlled substance, according to press releases from the department.

The first reported incident took place on Sept. 30 when department detectives used an informant to help conduct a sting. The informant, provided with marked bills, purchased prescription medication from Linda “Susan” Strain, 42, of 2001 U.S. Highway 11 North.

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The detectives observed Strain allegedly sell Methadone pills to the informant. After the sale was conducted, the detectives conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle for further investigation. Since there were warrants out on Strain in other cases, she was immediately taken into custody, the release states.

During the stop the detectives recovered from Strain’s pockets the marked bills along with more pills believed to be Hydrocodone and Oxycontin. More Hydrocodone pills and a large bottle of believed to be Methadone pills similar to the ones sold to the informant were found inside the car. What appeared to be a Hydrocodone pill also was found in the possession of the driver of the car, a juvenile. The release states that Strain claimed ownership of the pill so the juvenile was not charged and released to a family member.

Strain was charged with sale of a controlled substance within 1500 feet of a church or school, conspiracy to sell a controlled substance, felony possession of a controlled substance, and misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance. Another suspect in the vehicle was Lanita Ard, 41, of 61 Watts Rd., who was charged with sale of a controlled substance within 1500 feet of a church or school, conspiracy to sell a controlled substance, and causing or directing a youth to commit a felony. Their bonds were set in excess of $75,000 each, the release states.

On Oct. 1, detectives conducted a traffic stop on Anthony Necaise, 26, of 24112 Road 357, Carriere, Tabitha Cuevas, 29, of 3502 Rocky Hill, Kiln and Christopher Ladner, 29, of 20236 Saucier Lazana Rd., Carriere. During the stop the detectives discovered Cuevas was driving on a suspended driver’s license. In plain view the detectives could see alleged precursor chemicals commonly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, the release states. A 14 year-old juvenile was in the vehicle as well, but was released to a family member.

All three suspects were charged with possession of precursor chemicals, conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, and felony child abuse. The release states that all three suspects received a bond of $45,000 each.

On Oct. 2, two more suspects were charged with drug related violations as a result of a traffic stop. The release states that 31 year-old Danielle Currera, 31, and 29 year-old Martin Sciambra, both of 12 Frog Pond Rd., Carriere, were charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.

During that traffic stop, officers saw Currera attempt to hide a box containing pills believed to be pseudoephedrine pills. The detectives investigated further and found evidence to suspect that she had purchased amounts of the cold medication beyond the legal limit, the release states. That investigation found that both suspects allegedly had purchased a number of boxes of the medication at various pharmacies in the Picayune and Slidell, La. areas during the previous weeks. Bond for each suspect was set at $5,000.