Community complaints, proactive patrol end in several drug arrests
Published 7:00 am Friday, September 1, 2017
Three cases worked by the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department led to the arrest of several suspects on drug-related offenses. Two of the cases began as community complaints of illegal activity, while one was the result of proactive patrol efforts by a deputy.
Deputy Bo Penton was on patrol near Highway 43 North on Aug. 21, when he saw a vehicle being driven in a careless manner, prompting a stop as the vehicle turned onto Liberty Road, Sheriff David Allison said.
While Penton spoke with the driver, identified as 41-year-old Leah Bunn of 1004 Border Dr., Bogalusa, La., and the passenger identified as 26-year-old Clint Walters of 743 Tampa St., Bogalusa, he detected the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, Allison said.
Both suspects were detained and narcotics investigators were called to the scene. During the search of the vehicle, investigators found Adderall, suboxone, Xanax, marijuana and some drug paraphernalia, leading Bunn to be arrested for three counts of felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of paraphernalia. Walters was arrested for possession of paraphernalia, Allison said.
The next day, deputies were sent to a home at 9851 Highway 43 North near Poplarville in response to claims that someone was being held against their will by 43-year-old Raymond Bennett, who lives at that address. Allison said that when deputies arrived, they spoke with an occupant of the home not associated with the alleged offense. During that interaction, the smell of burnt marijuana was detected, prompting narcotics investigators to be called to the scene, Allison said.
Once a search warrant was secured for the home, investigators found marijuana paraphernalia and a bowie knife in Bennett’s room, which is illegal due to a prior conviction. Bennett was arrested for felony possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and possession of paraphernalia. The investigation determined no one was being held against his or her will at that address, Allison said.
Another case worked on Aug. 23, involved community complaints of drug activity at 1701 Highway 11 North. Allison said narcotics investigators and officers with the Mississippi Department of Corrections went to the home and spoke with 32-year-old Matthew King of 69 Broadridge Dr. and 31-year-old Heather Terrell of 1637 Highway 11 South.
A search of King’s person found a pouch with five bags of a counterfeit substance being misrepresented as methamphetamine and suboxone strips, Allison said.
Terrell ran from officers during the interaction into a bathroom in an attempt to flush a substance later determined to be methamphetamine. Allison said the substance was secured and she was arrested for felony tampering with physical evidence.
King was arrested for felony possession of a counterfeit substance and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, Allison said.