Four arrested, one being sought in drug and perjury case

Published 7:00 am Friday, September 28, 2018

Investigators with the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department are searching for a suspect in relation to an alleged perjury case that involved the arrest of a member of the Aryan Brotherhood.

According to a departmental release, four suspects have already been arrested as a result of the two-month long investigation.

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The release states that the case began on July 12, of this year while detectives were investigating the distribution of methamphetamine in the county and alleged criminal gang activity involving the Aryan Brotherhood.

That same day, 56-year-old Bernice Frierson of 54 Davis Dawsey Rd., was arrested for probation violation warrant with the Mississippi Department of Corrections and an indictment for possession of methamphetamine. During his arrest that day, Frierson was in possession of a large amount of methamphetamine, leading to an additional arrest for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, the release states.

Frierson was later served with additional arrest warrants while still incarcerated at the jail for sale of methamphetamine and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine on Aug. 21, in relation to evidence gathered in an unrelated investigation, the release states.

The release goes on to state that Frierson has been identified as a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, which is a white supremacy ideology gang that operates in prisons and on the streets and is at times associated with violent acts and the distribution of methamphetamine.

During the course of their continued investigation, detectives obtained evidence that Frierson had persuaded an acquaintance to draft false rental receipts for him so he could make it appear as though he did not live at the Davis Dawsey home at the time of his arrest in July. The investigation showed that Cole Stewart, 22, of 15 Huppo Rd., Apt. A1, had drafted the receipts, and convinced Michael Wayne Mitchell 47, of 166 Grover Barrett, to sign them, before Stewart would deliver them to Frierson’s public defender as part of a plot to make it appear that Frierson was living with Mitchell, and as such, did not possess the methamphetamine.

Evidence was also obtained that alleged Stewart was distributing methamphetamine from his home, leading to a search warrant being obtained. The release states that during the search of Stewart’s home, conducted on Aug. 22, Stewart and 30-year-old Eric Bochman were at the residence. In the search, digital scales, methamphetamine, plastic bags, paraphernalia, a fraudulent receipt and a laptop used to create the fraudulent receipts were found in the home, leading Stewart and Bochman being arrested for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Stewart and Frierson were additionally arrested for conspiracy to commit perjury, the release states.

A warrant was acquired for Mitchell’s arrest for his alleged involvement in the case and he was arrested on Aug. 25 for conspiracy to commit perjury.

A fifth suspect, 23-year-old Christopher Artalona, with a last known address of 503 N. Haugh Ave., was also identified as a potential suspect in the case. The release states that Artalona is still at large and being sought by investigators for his alleged involvement in the case.

Anyone with information about Artalona’s whereabouts is asked to call 601-GIVEATIP (448-2847) or Mississippi Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898.