TILLATOBA – A faulty alternator and quick thinking by a Tillatoba Truck Stop employee helped authorities nab a dangerous fugitive wanted out of Texas and recover a stolen truck.
Yalobusha Sheriff Lance Humphreys reported Aubrey Floyd Hart, 55, was arrested Friday morning after the mechanic on duty at the truck stop became suspicious when Hart appeared anxious to sell the vehicle. Humphreys said the mechanic contacted a friend who then called authorities and provided the license tag number.
“We ran the tag and it came back stolen,” Hum-phreys explained. Hampered by icy roads, multiple deputies and Hum-phreys responded while the mechanic stalled Hart.
“We always ap-preciate the help from the public. Our tipster was able to convince Hart he had someone bringing him the money to purchase the truck,” Humphreys added. That quick thinking kept Hart from leaving or from becoming suspicious, allowing deputies to take him into custody without incident.
“There were warnings all over the NCIC (National Crime Information Center) when we ran his Social Security number,” Humphreys said. The warnings included a flight risk and violent tendencies. He was wanted out of Texas for parole violation and was a registered sex offender, according to the sheriff.
Hart had served 21 years of a 50-year sentence before he was paroled almost three years ago. Humphreys did not have information on why his parole had been revoked by Texas authorities. Hart was transported to the Yalobusha County Jail, where he signed extradition papers and is expected to be picked up by Texas authorities Monday. The stolen vehicle, a 2003 Chevrolet 4×4 was recovered and towed to an impound yard.
In other law enforcement news:
• Eric Caldwell, also known as E. was arrested by deputies and agents with the Mississippi Bureau of Nar-cotics (MBN) on February 13. Humphreys reported Caldwell was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute marijuana.
Humphreys said the investigation was prompted by numerous tips and complaints from citizens about possible drug activity at Caldwell’s residence at 909 Daniels Drive in Water Valley. Working together, deputies and MBN agents were able to make a controlled drug purchase, which led to a search warrant.
“Evidence was uncovered during the search that led to the charges,” Humphreys told the Herald.
Caldwell was booked in the Yalobusha County Jail, where he bonded out.
• James Andrew Fletcher of Coffeeville was charged with possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, DUI, careless driving, driving with a suspended license and expired tag on Thursday, Feb. 19, around 1:30 a.m.
Fletcher was stopped by deputies on Hwy. 32, east of Oakland, after they received a call that someone was harassing customers and employee’s at the Oakland Shell Station.
“Fletcher’s vehicle, a red Chevy Colorado, matched the description the caller gave our dispatcher,” Humphreys said. “He was also weaving from one side of the road to the other.”
Alleged marijuana and cocaine were discovered in the pickup after it was searched, according to the sheriff.
Fletcher remains in the Yalobusha County Jail. His bond was set at $22,000.