Meth bust uncovers stolen goods

Published 2:07 am Sunday, March 6, 2011

A community complaint not only brought Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department investigators to a suspected methamphetamine lab, but also may have allowed investigators to resolve about a dozen residential and commercial burglaries.

Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said the department received a call from a volunteer firefighter Tuesday morning alleging that two men were burning the insulation off of copper wire on empty property on West Union Road. Tucker said the property was later determined to not be owned by the suspects. Tucker said the smell of the burning copper wire insulation is sometimes used to cover the smell of  methamphetamine labs and that a lab was found to be operational at that location when deputies arrived.

Sgt. Christa Groom said when the deputies went out the empty lot, they found two men, 31 year-old Troy Torres of 54 American Way and 23 year-old Logan Khoury of 128 Velma Jones Rd., Poplarville, operating the alleged methamphetamine lab. Tucker said that during the arrest, some stolen property was found in the vehicle, prompting an additional investigation since the department was already looking for Torres in relation to some burglaries.

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The investigation was expanded and additional stolen property was found later that day at a storage facility in the Salem community, Groom said. So far, both suspects have been charged with two counts of residential burglary, possession of precursor chemicals and manufacture of a controlled substance, Groom said.

Over the past four weeks Groom said the department has been investigating complaints about a number of residential and commercial burglaries that have occurred in the south end of the county. Evidence collected in the investigation sparked by the burning insulation may lead to solving a total of about a dozen different residential and commercial burglaries in the county, Groom said.

The department still has a large amount of stolen property that has not been claimed, Groom said.

“So if someone thinks that we may have their property, they can call us,” Groom said.

Bond for both suspects was set at $80,000, Groom said.