Two arrested for drug offenses in traffic stop

Published 7:00 am Friday, March 20, 2020

Two people were arrested for drug related offenses after a Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department deputy conducted a stop for careless driving.
Sheriff David Allison said the stop was conducted on March 14, at about 5:30 p.m. after the deputy observed a Mitsubishi Lancer cross the center line while traveling west on Highway 43 South. After crossing the center line, the vehicle then swerved the opposite direction and crossed the white fog line. At that point the driver then reduced the speed of the vehicle to 35 in a 55 mile per hour zone and turned on the hazard lights before pulling into a business along the highway.
The deputy then conducted a stop and as he approached the vehicle he spoke with 27-year-old Troy Mendoza of 816 Villere St. Waveland. In the passenger seat was a sleeping woman, later identified as 22-year-old Whitney Cheyenne Dillard of 14 Shirley Wise Rd., Carriere.
The deputy could smell the odor of burnt marijuana from inside the vehicle. When asked if he was alright, Mendoza said he and his passenger were tired from fishing and he pulled over because he thought he hit something in the road, Allison said. As the deputy worked the scene, he was advised that the tag to the vehicle was switched but the vehicle was not reported as stolen. Dillard awoke at about that time and said the tag belongs to a friend and the vehicle belongs to a family member. Continued investigation by the deputy determined there was no fishing gear or an ice chest in the vehicle to hold the fish Mendoza told the deputy he and Dillard caught. The deputy then asked the two to exit the vehicle, Allison said.
During a search of the vehicle, the deputy found a hypodermic needle in the driver’s side door panel and a water proof container in the vehicle that contained a crystal like substance along with two more syringes and plastic bags typically used in the distribution of controlled substances.
In Dillard’s purse the deputy found a digital scale and more syringes. Mendoza was arrested for careless driving and trafficking of a controlled substance and Dillard was arrested for switched tag and trafficking of a controlled substance, Allison said.

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