18-wheeler chase down I-59 ends in drug arrest

Published 7:00 am Thursday, June 21, 2018

The pursuit of an 18-wheeler down Interstate-59 resulted in the driver being arrested for drug offenses.

Assistant Chief of Police Jeremy Magri said the chase occurred on June 19 at about 9 a.m. after officers were dispatched to I-59 in reference to Pearl River Police officers pursuing a northbound 18-wheeler from Louisiana into Pearl River County.

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Magri said once the vehicles reached exit 4 in Picayune, Picayune Police officers joined in the pursuit. He said the suspect was driving erratically, swerving across both lanes and running off of either side of the road. The driver continually slowed the vehicle to 25 mph, sped up to 50, and then slowed down again, Magri said.

Additional units blocked the on ramp at exit 6 while the vehicle passed to prevent traffic from merging onto the interstate for public safety, Magri said. He said Pearl River County Sheriff deputies joined in the pursuit.

Magri said when the vehicle approached the 9-mile marker the driver swerved off the right side of the road into an embankment. He said the vehicle almost overturned, but instead the driver managed to pull it back onto the shoulder of the interstate. Magri said officers were able to stop the vehicle at that point.

Once it was stopped, officers approached the vehicle and asked the driver to exit the vehicle  but the driver refused, Magri said. After he refused, officers entered the vehicle through the passenger and drivers’ side doors and took him into custody.  The driver was identified as Frank Williams Jr., 52, 3103 Cherry St., New Orleans, La. After Williams was removed from the vehicle, officers conducted a search where they found a blue plastic grinder with a green leafy substance inside believed to be marijuana. Next to the grinder, officers also located a small pile filled with the substance they believed to be marijuana. After further investigation, it was determined Williams was driving with a suspended license.

When officers spoke to Williams, they believed he was under the influence of a narcotic, Magri said. Williams was given several field sobriety tests and was then taken into custody for driving under the influence and taken to a local hospital where he was offered a blood test, which he refused.

Williams was arrested for DUI – refused test, possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle, driving with a suspended license, reckless driving and failure to yield to sirens and blue lights.