If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
WATER VALLEY – A weekend investigation into an alleged rape led to one of the largest drug busts in the city’s history. Water Valley Police Chief Jason Mangrum reported officers seized 45 grams of crack cocaine, 179 grams of cocaine and over $5,000 in cash in a house located at 308 West Lee Street. Calvin Armstrong, 21, of Water Valley was charged with rape; trafficking of a controlled substance, cocaine; trafficking of a controlled substance, crack cocaine; and possession of a schedule I controlled substance, to-wit ecstasy.
“This is the biggest bust since I have been chief and may be one of the biggest ever in the city,” Mangrum told the Herald. “One of the officers who has worked at the department since the 1990s said it was the largest he can remember during his career.”
Mangrum reported his department received a call from the Tate County Sheriff’s Department on June 16 about a possible rape that occurred inside the city limits of Water Valley.
“Officers started investigating the claim, they traveled to Tate County to collect the victim’s statement,” the chief reported.
During the course of the investigation they learned that Armstrong allegedly picked up the victim in Tate County and brought her back to West Lee Street. Initially the encounter was consensual, but later in the night the victim declined to have sex with him and the alleged rape occurred.
Armstrong took the victim back to Tate County and an altercation followed with multiple shots fired. Mangrum said the Tate County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the shooting, but Armstrong was struck one time and the shots were not fired by the rape victim.
“Our suspect was hit in the eyelid. It grazed him and slit his eyelid,” Mangrum reported about Armstrong’s injuries.
Tate County deputies responded to the shooting and reached out to the Water Valley Police Department after the learning details about the alleged rape.
Mangrum said on Friday, June 17, officers executed a search warrant at the West Lee Street residence in connection with the rape investigation and discovered narcotics inside the home. Officers exited the home and obtained a second search warrant for the drug investigation that led to the drug seizure.
Mangrum also said Armstrong received medical care at a hospital after the shooting. He came to the Water Valley Police Department Monday night to provide a statement and was subsequently arrested. Armstrong is currently in custody at the Yalobusha County Detention Center. Tate County has also placed a hold on him. Mangrum extended appreciation to the Tate County Sheriff’s Department and Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Department for providing assistance.
“Tate County has helped us tremendously with this investigation and continues to provide assistance, it has been a great partnership,” Mangrum said. “Yalobusha County helped us with the execution of the search warrant, we appreciate the strong relationship with them day in and day out..”
Mangrum also extended gratitude to his officers.
“I would like to give them credit, the officers stepped up and put in extremely long hours, a lot of overtime, to put this together,” Mangrum said.
In other law enforcement news, Mangrum reported the theft of a 1994 Chevrolet truck during the early morning hours on June 15. The chief said the vehicle was stolen from the Base Camp Coding Academy parking lot.
“We were told the vehicle had mechanical trouble and had been left in the parking lot overnight. When the owner returned the next morning to make repairs, it was gone,” Mangrum said. The owner reported the doors were locked and the keys were not left in it. The vehicle’s water pump had failed, and would only be operable for a short distance before overheating.
“Officers spent hours searching the city but weren’t able to find the vehicle,” Mangrum added.
The chief said there have only been a handful of vehicle thefts in the city since he started at the department in August, 2019. Most of the earlier thefts typically stem from other circumstance, such as joyriding.
“This theft is perplexing, we are still investigating,” Mangrum said.