By David Howell
WATER VALLEY – While many marijuana smokers across the nation were lighting up on Weed Day observed annually on April 20, a Utah man originally from Water Valley had his weed seized and was arrested after picking up a large shipment Friday morning at the post office in Water Valley.
Devin Nicholson, 34, was apprehended on the post office steps after exiting the building with multiple packages containing high-grade marijuana and an estimated 100 containers of THC oil. Nicholson tossed the packages in the air as authorities from multiple agencies converged from hidden positions to make the arrest.
Sheriff Lance Humphreys reported Nicholson will be charged with trafficking and is in custody in the Yalobusha County Detention Center. The sheriff also said Nicholson has two outstanding indictments in Yalobusha County dating back to 2011 and has been living in Utah in recent years.
Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Narcotics Investigator Thomas West added that he was contacted by the Postal Inspector for Mississippi Thursday night about several packages that may contain narcotics.
“One package, damaged during transit, appeared to contain bags of marijuana,” West told the North Mississippi Herald.
The sheriff’s department, assisted by the Bureau of Narcotics, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Water Valley Police Department set up a controlled delivery of the packages and waited for Nicholson to arrive.
“When he arrived at the post office and requested the four packages, he was given two of them,” West explained. He was arrested without incident after the officers converged on him.
Nicholson admitted to officers that he had messed up big time and acknowledged that the packages contained almost 13 pounds of high-grade marijuana and THC oil.
Three packages of marijuana were seized during the arrest Friday morning a fourth was expected to arrive at the post office later. All four packages contained almost 13 pounds of marijuana and the estimated purchase price was $1,350 per pound.
Authorities reported Nicholson purchased the marijuana and liquid THC in the state of Washington and shipped it to Water Valley. He then flew to Water Valley to pick up the packages.
“I hate it for him,” Humphreys said after the arrest. “Sometimes good people make bad decisions and I think this is what happened in this incident.”
The sheriff also praised the teamwork, starting with the tip from the post office.
“We were fortunate to get this before it hit the streets,” Humphreys said. “A lot of people underestimate the problems associated with marijuana. These drugs had a high level of THC and can be very potent. We also hear more and more about cases where marijuana is laced with unknown substances that can be extremely dangerous or even fatal.”
Humphreys also said that West and Water Valley officer Keith Davis are working jointly on additional drug cases.
“Although this case developed fast, sometimes it takes a lot of time to investigate drug cases and effective teamwork between our departments is the key to ridding our streets of drugs,” the sheriff added.
Other recent arrests reported by the sheriff includes:
• Tim Austin of Lambert was arrested over the weekend after deputies stopped him coming out of the Wallace Creek camping area with no license tag. During the traffic stop, meth (less that two grams) and paraphernalia were discovered in his vehicle. He is currently in custody in the Yalobusha County Detention Center.
• A Wisconsin man was arrested on March 27 after the sheriff’s department received multiple tips about erratic behavior. Humphreys reported Christopher Shell was charged with littering, trespassing and possession of meth after deputy Jim Bailey found him parked in a private parking lot at the old CB shop on Hwy. 330, just east of the Tillatoba Truck Stop.
“Our first call came from a truck driver, and deputies looked for the vehicle from 2 to 4 a.m.,” Humphreys said. A second caller alerted deputies that Shell was still in the area and Bailey found him around 6 a.m. During the arrest Bailey found 5.35 grams of meth hidden in the vehicle.
“It was 99.96 percent pure, according to the crime lab report,” Bailey reported. Shell was taken into custody without incident after multiple deputies arrived to back up Bailey.
Bailey reported Shell had strewn papers from his vehicle along the highway and ironically the first thing the deputy noticed on the ground outside the vehicle was a NCIC report listing Shell’s arrest history. It was a lengthy report including charges for assault on a police office, prompting Bailey to call for backup.
“He told us he was headed to Memphis,” Bailey added.