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WATER VALLEY – An unexploded pipe bomb, drug arrests and a runaway truck that splashed into the Skuna River are among incidents the Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Department have investigated this month.
Sheriff Jerimaine Gooch said the pipe bomb was reported on July 5 by a concerned citizen who spotted it on County Road 211 between Oakland and Coffeeville. The sheriff said the Tupelo Bomb squad responded to assist his department safely diffuse the bomb.
The sealed pipe contained sparklers, similar to a sparkler bomb. The sheriff explained that a sparkler bomb is simply a bundle of fireworks, typically sparklers, tapped together with a fuse as an ignition source. The pipe had a fuse that connected to the sparklers inside, an apparent rudimentary attempt to build an explosive device. The fuse had been lit but Gooch explained the sparklers inside did not ignite.
“We are thankful for the citizen who spotted it and alerted us. We had to take standard precautions including requesting assistance from the Tupelo Bomb Squad,” Gooch said.
The case remains under investigation.
Gooch reported that William Burris, III, was arrested during a traffic stop on July 10 and charged with careless driving, failure to stop when an officer signals, DUI first – other and possession of methamphetamine. Gooch reported an estimated five grams of alleged methamphetamine was seized during the stop. The traffic stop occurred on County Road 206 near the Enid Lake levee.
Larry Keith White was arrested in Coffeeville on July 5 for possession of methamphetamine. The sheriff reported the arrest was also made during a traffic stop.
Bradly Washington was arrested and charged with commercial burglary and grand larceny after deputies linked him to a break-in reported at a business on Hwy. 32, just outside of Water Valley.
Vehicles parked at the business were also burglarized. The incident occurred during the early morning hours on July 14.
Chief Deputy Thomas West reported Washington was identified as the suspect after viewing security cameras at the business.
“We were able to arrest him at the Valley Motel within six hours from the time the break-in was reported,” West told the Herald.
Washington remains in custody at the Yalobusha County Detention Center.
Gooch reported deputies responded to the worksite at Gums Crossing bridge after a truck rolled into the Skuna River on July 13. The pickup was owned by a Greenwood man who is part of the construction crew working to build the new bridge that spans Skuna River on the backwaters of Grenada Lake. Deputy Dalton Coleman reported the initial assessment was perplexing.
“The story was hard to believe,” Coleman told the Herald.
The pickup had been parked on an incline at the south end of the work bridge for the entire day.
“They were all working at the other end of the bridge when they heard a crash,” Coleman reported.
“They saw the pickup just as it went off the work bridge.”
The pickup landed upside down, partially submerged in the Skuna River. The headlights were flashing and the windshield wipers were activated after the water shorted out the electrical system.
Coleman reported the workers at the site initially thought someone may have been trying to steal the pickup.
“The owner jumped down into the water to see if anybody was in it, the deputy explained.
A chain was hooked to the rear of the truck and a large crane used on the work site hoisted it out of the water. An inspection after the truck was out of the water revealed the key was not in the ignition and the transmission shifter was in park.
Coleman said he noticed the transmission looked shiny and new when he first observed the truck upside down in the water.
“I asked the owner and he said there had been transmission work done on the truck recently,” the deputy added.
Coleman added it appeared there was an issue with the transmission causing the truck to roll down the steep incline where it had been parked for the entire day.
“The owner of the truck was pretty upset,” Coleman added.
Late June arrests include:
• Jason Dye was arrested on June 27 on a warrant from Grenada County.
• James Mewbourn was arrested for trespassing and possession of paraphernalia in the Boat Landing community on June 26.