Verbal altercation leads to drug arrest

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A verbal altercation at a Picayune residence led police officers to a stash of marijuana.

When officers arrived to 600 Rosa St. on Monday afternoon, they could hear a loud verbal altercation inside the residence, said Jeremy Magri, assistant to the chief of police.

“Officers entered the residence and observed a male and female arguing in the living room,” Magri said. “While inside, officers could smell a very strong odor of green marijuana emitting from the interior of the residence.”

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The two people arguing were separated and all other occupants were asked to leave the residence.

“At this time, officers spoke with the owner of the residence, Jimmie Hathorn, 69,” Magri said. “Officers advised Hathorn that while inside the residence they smelled the odor of marijuana. He then provided a signed consent to search form.”

Upon searching the residence, a plastic air-tight bag containing five large, individual bags of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana was located in the air-conditioning unit in a hallway, said Magri.

“Officers recovered a digital scale and a box of sandwich-size baggies, commonly used to package marijuana, inside a shoe box laying on a bedroom floor,” Magri said.

“A .25-caliber handgun was also found,” he said. “The serial number had been filed off.”

Hathorn was taken into custody and arrested for possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute within 1,500 feet of a school or church. He is being held in the Picayune Criminal Justice Center awaiting a probable cause hearing for his bond to be set.

The Picayune Police Department is further investigating the recovery of the gun with the filed serial number, said Magri.

On Sunday, two suspects in a parked car outside of Keith’s Supercenter on U.S. Highway 11 raised officers’ suspicions.

After midnight, officers observed two males sitting in a parked car, said Magri. “Officers pulled up behind the car and made contact with the occupants.”

The driver was identified as Dominick Graf, 21, of 103 American Way.

“While speaking to the subjects, officers observed, through the window, two pill bottles on the rear seat,” Magri said.

“Graf stated it was his medication,” he said, “and officers confirmed that it was his medicine in the bottles.”

Officers asked Graf to get out of the vehicle for further investigation, said Magri. “While Graf was exiting the vehicle, officers observed another pill bottle under his feet.”

The bottle contained a plastic baggy that contained a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana, said Magri.

“Graf stated that it was his marijuana,” he said.

Graf was arrested for possession of marijuana and the passenger of the vehicle was released at the scene.