By David Howell
WATER VALLEY – A traffic fatality, drug arrests and several burglaries kept the Yalobusha County Sheriff’s department busy during the last week.
Yalobusha Sheriff Lance Humphreys reported that Joyce Bardo, age 50, was killed in an one-vehicle accident on County Road 220 last Thursday afternoon.
“This was a very unfortunate accident,” Humphreys said about the fatality. “The initial 911 call reported an erratic driver,” the sheriff told the Herald. Two deputies responded, one from Coffeeville and one from Water Valley.
“One deputy got there just moments after the accident,” he added.
Humphreys said the 911 caller who first contacted his department also arrived at the scene at the same time as the deputy. “The caller said the vehicle was traveling at a very high speed. He had been following her while talking to our dispatcher on the phone, but was several miles behind her when the accident occurred,” the sheriff stated.
Bardo was transported by Yalobusha EMTs to Baptist Memorial Hospital where she died. The accident remains under investigation.
Also last Thursday Humphreys reported his department was called after a plastic garbage bag containing three firearms was discovered on County Road 440.
Humphreys said the guns were found in a pile of brush.
“The property owners were clearing the land and noticed the black bag,” Humphreys said. The serial numbers of a shotgun and two .22 rifles were entered in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and did not come back stolen.
“We also didn’t have any records in our department’s database,” Humphreys said. The sheriff estimated the guns had been on the property for six months and were only slightly damaged from rust.
“We have not been able to link the guns to anything, I don’t know why they were left there,” Humphreys added.
Four people face meth charges following two separate traffic stops Sunday afternoon. Three people were arrested in the first traffic stop on County Road 215, according to the sheriff.
Humphreys said deputies made the stop after receiving an alert from MethCheck that the driver had purchased pseudoephedrine pills out-of state. MethCheck is a real-time tracking system that allows authorities to track pseudoephedrine purchases made out of state where it remains available over-the-counter.
In Mississippi pseudoephedrine is only available with a prescription.
Several hours later deputies stopped a second vehicle on Hwy. 7 just south of Coffeeville and arrested one more person.
“Three were from Yalobusha County and one was from Grenada County,” Humphreys said. Hump-hreys did not release the names of the four arrested citing an ongoing investigation. “We hope to be able to make several additional arrests in the coming weeks from information we have gained while working these cases,” Humphreys explained.
“Our officers wrote numerous citations in each stop,” the sheriff said. The infractions included no seat belts, no proof of liability insurance, driving with a suspended license and expired tag.
“There were precursors sitting on the front seat in plain view in the second stop on Hwy. 7,” the sheriff said. The precursors included drain cleaner, lithium batteries and ammonium hydroxide. In Mississippi, three or more precursors constitute a felony charge for manufacture of methamphetamine.
“We had to close one lane of traffic on Hwy. 7 for several hours until a hazardous materials team arrived from Southaven to remove the precursors,” Humphreys said.
In the first stop on County Road 215, deputies received consent to search the vehicle and found pseudoephedrine pills, salt and lighter fluid.
“The deputies did a good job, we had placed MethCheck alerts on several of these suspects,” Humphreys said.
Took a report of fondling in Coffeeville last Friday. Humphreys said his department worked the case over the weekend and obtained an arrest warrant Monday on the suspect.
“We think he may have left the county, we are searching for him now,” Humphreys said.
• Deputies made an arrest for disturbance of the family on County Road 262. The first time deputies arrived, the suspect had left.
“He came back later and we were able to arrest him,” Hum-phreys said.
• Worked a hit and run traffic accident on County Road 436 on April 16. Humphreys said a motorist hit a car and kept on going.
• Responded to a burglary call on County Road 169 on April 16. Humphreys said several televisions were taken from the residence.
• Worked a grand larceny case after an air compressor, ladder and other tools were taken just outside of Oakland. The owner said the equipment was taken sometime between April 1 and 12.
“We have a suspect in this case and hope to make an arrest soon,” the sheriff told the Herald.
• Recovered several items reported stolen earlier in April from the former Pit Row Bar and Grill on Hwy. 330 outside Coffeeville. Humphreys said numerous cartons of cigarettes and 20 cases of beer were stolen from the business. The beer and cigarettes were found near Spears Street in Coffeeville.
“We have a couple of suspects in this case, but little physical evidence,” Humphreys said about the case.
• Took a report of trespassing on County Road 212 on April 15.
• Took a report of trespassing on County Road 215 after the property owner heard a shot. Humphreys said the trespasser was likely a turkey hunter.
• Made an arrest on County Road 25 on April 16. The charges were resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and disturbance of a family.
“The guy fled from deputies on foot but deputies Thomas West and Jim Bailey were able to catch him,” Humphreys said.
• Took a report of a season pass that had been stolen from a vehicle at Bryant’s Boat Landing. The pass was valued at $35 and belonged to an off-duty park ranger. Humphreys said the pass was displayed in the vehicle and was taken from an open window.
• Recovered a 2006 Kaw-asaki Brute Force 660 four-wheeler on April 19. The ATV was stolen out of Lonoke County in Arkansas. and was recovered at a residence in Tillatoba on County Road 10. The ATV had been reported missing on March 3. Humphreys said his department received a tip about the four-wheeler.