Picayune police make two arrests, recover drugs and cash

Published 7:00 am Friday, November 13, 2015


CASH, DRUGS FOUND: Pictured, marijuana and a total of $1,873 in cash recovered by Picayune police officers. Submitted photo.

CASH, DRUGS FOUND: Pictured, marijuana and a total of $1,873 in cash recovered by Picayune police officers. Submitted photo.

Picayune police officers recovered marijuana and nearly $2,000 in cash from a man and woman after receiving a call that two people were panhandling outside a local restaurant.

On Nov. 6 at 11:26 p.m., an officer was dispatched to the restaurant on Highway 11 North in reference to the couple begging for money at the restaurant’s parking lot, Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

When the officer arrived on the scene, he didn’t observe anyone matching the description of the suspects. When he entered the business, the officer observed a male, 28-year-old Lawrence McDonald of 14 Panther Circle, possibly fitting the description of the suspect. At that time, the officer asked McDonald to exit the restaurant, Magri said.

While speaking with the suspect, the officer reportedly noticed McDonald to be unsteady on his feet with slurred speech. The officer then called for backup to assist him with the female suspect, 33-year-old Sylvia McGrew of 901 Martin Luther King Blvd., who was also found inside the restaurant, Magri said.

When the second officer arrived, he asked McGrew to step outside the restaurant. While speaking with the female suspect, officers reported her to be visibly unsteady on her feet with slurred speech, Magri said.

Both suspects were arrested for public drunkenness, Magri said.

When the officers searched the suspects’ vehicle, they could smell what they believed to be marijuana inside. They then discovered a large plastic bag containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana, including multiple empty sandwich bags, inside a black backpack lying on the passenger side floorboard of the vehicle. Several empty sandwich bags were also found inside the glove compartment, which are commonly used to package illegal narcotics for sale, Magri said.

Officers recovered $98 on McGrew’s person and an additional $100 inside her wallet found on the backseat of the vehicle. They also recovered $1,675 from McDonald’s person, Magri said.

The money was seized under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, Magri said.

Both suspects were additionally charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute within 1,500 feet of a school or church, Magri said.