Pearl River County Authorities Conduct Multiple Arrests in November Operations

Published 1:51 pm Tuesday, December 5, 2023

In a series of coordinated efforts throughout November 2023, the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department conducted a targeted operation resulting in multiple arrests related to drug offenses and probation violations across various locations in Picayune and Poplarville.

On November 1, narcotics investigators, alongside Picayune Police Units, visited a residence at 1801 Hwy 11 South, Picayune MS., following up on a juvenile complaint. Ashley Diaz (35) was taken into custody after consenting to a search that revealed prescription-controlled substance pills identified as Diazepam and a glass pipe used for smoking methamphetamine. Diaz faces charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of paraphernalia, and three warrants for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

On November 3, narcotics investigators located Anna Dillard (37) at an address on Stegal Rd. in Picayune MS. Dillard was placed under arrest for probation violations. Dillard had been under house arrest, serving her time at a rehabilitation facility in Pearl River County and was Court Ordered to wear an ankle monitor. On or around October 12, 2023, Dillard forcibly removed the monitor and fled the facility. As such, Dillard was also charged with Escape.

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On November 8, deputies were dispatched to 144 Hampton Rd. in Picayune, MS., to conduct a welfare check on Richard Steen (48) after he left a hospital with an IV port still in his arm. Steen was found in possession of 26.7 grams of suspected methamphetamine and 17 grams of marijuana. He did not have a prescription for the marijuana. Steen attempted to destroy or conceal evidence during contact with the deputies. Steen was subsequently arrested for controlled substance violations and tampering with evidence.

On November 9, deputies made contact with Chantel Mejia (31) during a traffic stop at Hwy 11 and Jackson Landing Rd., Picayune, MS. Subsequent to the stop, a Terry pat-down was conducted on Mejia, and she was found to be in possession of a pipe used for smoking methamphetamine, a substance believed to be methamphetamine, and marijuana. Mejia was arrested and charged with controlled substance violations.

On November 14, the Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant at 32 Whitesand Rd., Poplarville, MS. Investigators located Javaze Bowden (27), Lemuel Bowden (19), and Ashlee Slade (32). Investigators discovered a trafficking amount of methamphetamine. Javaze Bowden was subsequently arrested for the methamphetamine and a Felony Fleeing warrant. Ashlee Slade was subsequently arrested for a sale of a controlled substance warrant. Lemuel Bowden, Ashlee Slade, and Javaze Bowden were all charged with hindering prosecution.

On November 16, deputies were patrolling the Hillsdale area and attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a 2007 Red Buick for a traffic violation near Sonny Stuart Rd. on Hillsdale Rd. The Buick refused to stop, and the incident turned into a vehicle pursuit. During the pursuit, the deputy observed a powder-like substance and plastic bags being thrown from the passenger side of the vehicle. The vehicle finally came to a stop near KAR Pit Stop at 25 Hillsdale Rd. The driver, Damian Lee (33), and the passenger, Jessica Debruler (28), were detained. Once the couple was detained, the deputy observed in plain view what appeared to be methamphetamine scattered throughout the vehicle. Both suspects were taken into custody for controlled substance violations and tampering with evidence.

On November 17, narcotics investigators received a text message from a suspect identified as Thomas Pierce (30). Pierce indicated he wanted to purchase methamphetamine. The investigator responded to the messages, and a meet location was set up at KAR Pit Stop on Hillsdale Rd. Investigators went to the KAR Pit Stop and found Pierce waiting at the location. Pierce was taken into custody for conspiracy to transfer a controlled substance.

On November 20, deputies were patrolling the area of Sam Smith Rd. and conducted a traffic stop on a tan Toyota Avalon for a traffic violation. Upon making the stop, the driver was identified as Donald Ray Loper (59). During the stop, the deputy discovered Loper attempted to destroy evidence by throwing a pipe used for smoking methamphetamine out of his window. The evidence was recovered, and Loper was placed under arrest for Tampering with Evidence. Loper was out on bond for previous drug-related charges. His bond was revoked.

On November 21, the Sheriff’s department Criminal and Narcotics Investigators responded to 786 John Amacker Rd., Poplarville MS. to follow up on an ongoing investigation. Upon arrival, Stanley Martin (43) attempted to flee the scene but was apprehended. Martin was found to be in possession of a distribution amount of methamphetamine. Martin was charged with possession with intent to distribute and disorderly conduct. Investigators made contact with Ashley Sumrall (35) at the same location and found her to be in possession of drug paraphernalia; a syringe used for injecting methamphetamine. Sumrall was subsequently charged with disorderly conduct for failure to comply and possession of paraphernalia. Investigators continued to 752 John Amacker Rd. and made contact with Neil Collier (65) inside a camper. Investigators discovered Collier actively using methamphetamine. Collier was taken into custody for paraphernalia.

On November 28, deputies were conducting proactive interdiction patrols in the area of Interstate 59 North Bound around the 38-mile Marker. A traffic stop was conducted on a 2017 Gray Audi for a traffic violation. During the stop, contact was made with Jarvis Leggett (41). A search of the vehicle was conducted, and a trafficking amount of synthetic marijuana was located in the trunk area of the vehicle. Leggett was taken into custody for the controlled substance violation. Leggett was also found to be in possession of a firearm. Leggett is a convicted felon and is not allowed to possess firearms. Leggett was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

All suspects were transported and incarcerated at the Pearl River County Criminal Justice Facility.