Undercover operations net three suspects for drugs

Published 2:09 pm Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Two separate undercover operations led to the arrest of three suspects on drug related charges.

In one of the cases, two suspects, 42-year-old Michael Zeller, and 42-year-old Byron Peterson both of 11255 Bud Lee Rd., allegedly were involved in securing precursor chemicals to manufacture methamphetamine, said Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Investigator Donnie Saucier. In the second case, 60-year-old Lemuel Bouden of 209 Woodard St., Poplarville allegedly was selling prescription medication from his home, Saucier said.

The case against Zeller and Peterson began as undercover operatives observed Zeller purchase a number of precursor chemical items from a local retailer on March 24, Saucier said. Undercover operatives watched Zeller leave the store and leave in a car driven by Peterson. Saucier said officers stopped the car after the two left the store and searched the vehicle.

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Officers found the precursor chemicals during the search and conducted an investigation. Saucier said through the investigation and interviews, officers determined the two men had purchased the items to manufacture methamphetamine. Investigators were not certain whether all of the precursor chemicals had been purchased from the same store, Saucier said.

Both Zeller and Peterson were charged with possession of precursor chemicals.

The investigation in the second case resulted in the arrest of Bouden on a warrant on March 27. Saucier said during that investigation undercover operatives were able to purchase Xanax and Lortab from Bouden on separate occasions. Based on those purchases, a warrant was secured and on March 27, investigators went to Bouden’s home to arrest him, Saucier said.

As the investigators spoke with Bouden, they could see a large amount of prescription medication on the living room couch in plain sight. Saucier said further investigation determined the pills were being separated into bunches of five for resale. The pills included Lortab, Soma and Xanax.

Bouden was arrested on the warrant for three counts of sale of a controlled substance and additionally charged with possession of a schedule III controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of a schedule IV controlled substance with intent to distribute.