Suspected overdose death prompts investigation that leads to drug arrests

Published 9:43 am Thursday, March 17, 2022

A suspected overdose death at a Pearl River County home prompted investigators with the Sheriff’s Department to conduct surveillance on the home, later resulting in several arrests.

Sheriff David Allison said deputies and other emergency responders were sent to 35 Billy Glenn Lane on Feb. 27 in response to an unresponsive female.

Emergency personnel arrived to find the woman had passed away, allegedly from an overdose. Witness statements determined the woman had just been released from jail and apparently had an addiction to heroin, Allison said.

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The next day, narcotics detectives patrolled the area in an effort to conduct surveillance and follow up on the overdose case. While in that area, the detectives saw a 2011 GMC Terrain being operated in a careless manner, leading to a stop. In the vehicle they identified 40-year-old Sandra Severin as the driver and 41-year-old Gerald Brown as the passenger. Both occupants gave their address as 35 Billy Glenn Lane.

Using investigative techniques, three packages of suboxone were found in Severin’s possession and some paraphernalia was found in Brown’s possession, Allison said. Severin was arrested for the offense of possession of a controlled substance and Brown was arrested for possession of paraphernalia.

After performing those arrests, the detectives started the process of securing a search warrant for the home. Allison said that after securing that warrant, a search of the home located methamphetamine, digital scales, a distribution amount of marijuana and baggies, leading to the additional charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute being pressed on Severin and Brown, Allison said.

While conducting the search, a vehicle occupied by 26-year old Kirston Kennedy of 195 Arbor Gate Circle and 26-year-old Austin Kennedy of 1637 Highway 11 South arrived at the home. In plain view within the vehicle, the detectives could see a substance suspected to be heroin, resulting in a search of the vehicle that located scales, plastic bags and an unknown white substance suspected to be a cutting agent used in the sale of heroin, Allison said.

Both were arrested for possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, Allison said.

In a separate case worked on March 2, detectives conducting a proactive patrol in the area of Jackson Landing Road and Highway 11 witnessed a Nissan Pathfinder being operated in a reckless manner by a person who was not wearing their seatbelt, leading to a traffic stop.

During the stop the detectives spoke with the driver, identified as 33-year-old James Ellis of 108 Hickory Lane, who appeared nervous and was suspected to be under the influence of some sort of narcotic, Allison said.

Ellis was asked to exit the vehicle and as he did the detectives noticed a glass pipe with residue suspected to be from methamphetamine on the seat. Also found in the vehicle was a clear plastic bag of methamphetamine, leading to Ellis being arrested for possession of methamphetamine, Allison said.

Due to the suspicion that he may be under the influence, a DUI unit was called to the scene. That deputy determined Ellis was possibly under the influence and was subsequently arrest for DUI.