TORRANCE – A routine stop for federal law enforcement officers patrolling Holly Springs National Forest on opening morning of deer season led to multiple drug arrests with help from the Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Department.
Sheriff Lance Humphreys reported deputies Jim Bailey and Thomas West were called to assist with the drug case after U.S. Forestry law enforcement officers initially stopped a vehicle near Torrance Boat Landing last Saturday.
Arrested were Jimmy Brasel III of Itta Bena, possession of marijuana, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of psilocybin mushrooms, a Schedule I controlled substance; Don Dulin and Lisa Weeks, both of Grenada, possession of methamphetamine; and Ameer Burdin of Water Valley, possession of marijuana.
Humphreys told the Herald that Brasel was first stopped by the federal officers, who determined he had methamphetamine and mushrooms and requested assistance from the county’s narcotics officers.
Dulin and Weeks pulled up as law enforcement officers were investigating, and Bailey observed a baggie and syringe fall out of their vehicle as they opened the door to exit.
The fourth arrest came when Burdin drove by and West stopped him for no seatbelt.
“There was a strong odor of marijuana in his vehicle,” West told the Herald. “We uncovered a large bag of marijuana that he had stuck in his underwear,” West explained.
Authorities believe that all four arrested knew each other and had planned to meet in the rural area to buy and sell drugs.
Humphreys said it was the first time his officers had seen psilocybin mushrooms.
All four were booked in the Yalobusha County jail. Burdin was the only one of the four posting bond by presstime Monday afternoon.
“Working with the federal officers, our goal is to help deter drugs, alcohol use and illegal hunting in the national forest,” Humphreys added.
In other law enforcement news:
• Rodedrick Hayes of Grenada was charged with possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle and DUI-other after he stopped at a checkpoint on Hwy. 7 south of Coffeeville around 1 a.m. Sunday morning.
Humphreys said Hayes admitted he had been smoking marijuana prior to the stop.
A passenger in the vehicle, Quincy Hall, was also charged in the stop. Hall of Grenada was charged with felon in possession of a firearm after a 9mm pistol was seized from under the passenger’s seat. The pistol and $89 was seized by deputy West.
Both men were transported to the Yalobusha County Jail. Hayes has posted bond and was released. This was also a joint operation with the forestry officers and the sheriff’s department.
• Deputy West cited James Brown of Grenada for headlighting on Nov. 15 on County Road 20, near the old Oakland school on Hwy. 51. Humphreys said his department had received several complaints about headlighting in the area and West wrote the citation after observing Brown shine his headlights across the field.
Humphreys also said Brown did not immediately stop after West cut his blue lights on during the stop in the early morning hours.
“He had two rifles in the truck and probably was unloading then,” Humphreys speculated about the delayed stop. Ammunition for the rifles was also discovered in the truck. Brown also had his 15 year-old son in the vehicle, according to West.