Two busts in same day lead to arrest of six suspects

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 14, 2018

On February 5, Picayune Narcotic Detectives conducted two sets of arrests involving suspects who were in possession of firearms and drug paraphernalia.

The first of those arrests occurred at about 3 p.m. when officers conducted a traffic stop on a black Pontiac Trans Am because the occupants were not wearing seatbelts, according to a press release from the department. Occupants of the vehicle were identified as Christopher Dale Frierson, 39, 61 Parkside Drive, Picayune, Harald Edward Frank, 50, 25105 Road 269, Picayune, Julie Ann Lonadier, 36, 203 North Street, Purvis, and Jerusha Hannah Morehead, 45, 168 Terry Lane, Carriere.  During the stop, officers noticed a firearm near Frank’s leg, and smelled the odor of marijuana through the window.

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Detectives asked the occupants to exit the vehicle and a search of the vehicle found a black box containing bags of a substance believed to be methamphetamine, a glass pipe containing burnt marijuana, a Loratab pill, and a purple Crown Royal bag containing two more bags of methamphetamine, as well as a glass pipe containing a crystal residue.

Frank was determined to be the owner of the firearm and was placed under arrest for possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute while in possession of a firearm, conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance while in possession of a firearm, possession of paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance, and four counts of driving without a seatbelt. Frierson, Lonadier, and Morehead were also arrested for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, possession of paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance.

The estimated street value of the methamphetamine was $1,200.

Later that day at about 5:30 p.m., detectives conducted a stop on a vehicle for running a stop sign. When asked for their identification, 31-year-old Jessica Rae Burge, 31, 62 Sollie Smith Rd., Carriere gave a false name. The second suspect was identified as Brandon Anthony Whitten, 27, 2201 McGeehee Lane, Picayune, the release states. During the stop, detectives noticed a lighter and aluminum foil laying on the vehicle’s dash, which detectives suspected was an indication of the previous presence of heroin.

Detectives asked the two to exit the vehicle and conducted a search. Detectives recovered the paraphernalia and discovered a loaded black 9mm Taurus with an extended magazine. After contacting dispatch, detectives confirmed that both Burge and Whitten were convicted felons and Whitten was wanted by the Baton Rouge Police Department for drug violations.

Burge was arrested for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, providing false identifying information to a law enforcement officer, careless driving, possession of paraphernalia and running a stop sign. Whitten was also arrested for possession of a firearm by a felon and outstanding warrants.