Pair arrested at local hotel for drugs

Published 1:48 am Sunday, February 20, 2011

Two people were arrested Thursday morning after Picayune Police Investigators were alerted to the presence of an alleged methamphetamine lab.

The department received a call from a tenant of the Express Hotel in Picayune that he suspected some illegal activity was ongoing in one of the rooms.

Narcotics Investigator Mike Odom said the complainant told the investigators that the during night before, they recalled detecting a strong chemical odor. The next morning, the complainant woke up feeling nauseous from the odor, prompting the call to the department.

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Odom said he and several investigators headed to the hotel located off of Memorial Boulevard, and upon their arrival, detected a strong chemical odor emanating from a room. The investigators knocked on the door from which they thought the odor was coming and Odom said two people answered the door. They were later identified as 28 year-old Shannon Sims of 614 E. Canal St., and 26 year-old Justin Raines of 1421 Camellia Cove.

Odom said when the door opened, they could smell the chemical odor coming out of the room. That evidence, combined with what the investigators saw, prompted them to escort Sims and Raines from the room and seek a search warrant for it, he said.

During the search, investigators found what they believed to be a discarded methamphetamine lab in the room’s trash can, along with four to five grams of methamphetamine still in the drying stage, Odom said. A search of the perimeter of the hotel found what appeared to be evidence of three previous cooks in the trees behind the building, he said.

Agents with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and a Hazmat team were called out to clean up the labs, Odom said.

Deputy Chief David Ervin said Sims and Raines were each charged with two counts of felony possession of a controlled substance, possession of precursor chemicals and manufacturing a controlled substance.