Undercover drug bust nets 4 arrests
Published 7:00 am Saturday, September 12, 2015
Two men and two women were arrested as the result of an undercover drug operation conducted by the Picayune Police Department last week.
Narcotics detectives discovered narcotics and paraphernalia inside a home and two vehicles on Sept. 3 after detectives got a tip that led them to believe that 32-year-old Joseph Scarbrough, of 33 Easy St., and 38-year-old Staci Dillard of 33 Easy St. were allegedly selling methamphetamine in the area. The investigation led detectives to a residence located at 1614 Jackson Landing Rd., where they believed Scarbrough and Dillard were, Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri said.
At 6:26 p.m., detectives were surveilling the residence when they observed what appeared to be a drug sale occurring inside a white Chevy Tahoe. Detectives then observed 32-year-old Richard Johnston, of 1614 Jackson Landing Rd., exit the Tahoe and enter the residence, Magri said.
At that time, detectives sought a search warrant. Once it was attained, they searched the residence, which belonged to Johnston and 30-year-old Halley Johnston. During the search, detectives discovered several drugs inside the bedroom, including three clear plastic bags containing a white crystallized substance believed to be crystal methamphetamine under the bed, one clear bag containing crystal methamphetamine on the nightstand and another bag containing crystal methamphetamine placed inside Halley’s purse. Detectives also found another bag containing the drug inside a coffee cup, which appeared to have been placed there in an attempt to destroy it, Magri said.
After searching the residence, detectives searched the Chevy Tahoe. They also searched a white Ford Explorer at the residence belonging to Scarbrough and Dillard. After searching the Tahoe, they found a set of digital scales and a box containing numerous empty bags commonly used to package illegal narcotics for sale. In the Ford Explorer, detectives found a set of digital scales that had a white crystallized residue believed to be crystal methamphetamine and a glass pipe containing a white burnt residue. Detectives also recovered another clear plastic bag containing a white crystallized substance believed to be crystal methamphetamine that Johnston had sold earlier while detectives were conducting surveillance, Magri said.
Through further investigation, detectives learned Scarbrough and Dillard conspired with Richard to sell crystal methamphetamine, Magri said.
Richard was charged with selling a controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a church and tampering with physical evidence. Halley was charged with intent to distribute a controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a church and tampering with physical evidence. Scarbrough was charged with conspiracy to sell a controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a church and possession of paraphernalia. Dillard was charged with conspiracy to sell a controlled substance with intent to distribute within 1,500 feet of a church and possession of paraphernalia. She was additionally charged with felony possession of a controlled substance after a clear plastic bag containing a crystallized substance believed to be crystal methamphetamine was found inside her bra, Magri said.
Both vehicles were seized in connection with a narcotics transaction, Magri said.
**** Correction*** An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that 39-year-old Stacy Dillard of 376 Joe Smith Rd. in Carriere was arrested. In fact, another woman, Staci Dillard, was arrested.