October 22, 2020

Year-long drug investigations nets eight arrests, including two women in their 60s

A year-long investigation by the Picayune Police Department led to the arrest of eight suspects for alleged drug offenses.

Assistant Chief Dustin Moeller said the bust, called Operation Crack Down, focused on alleged mid to upper level drug dealers. Cases were formed using a combination of undercover operations and patrol techniques and arrests were conducted from March 9 to March 13 with assistance from the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department. .

Enoch Osibisi McDonald Jr., 28, was arrested on March 9 just before 11 a.m. after officers went to his home, located at 803 S. Beech St., to arrest him for a warrant for discharging a weapon within the city limits, Moeller said. During McDonald’s arrest, officers found a handgun in his home that had an extended magazine, a loaded 9mm handgun, a glass jar containing a green leafy substance suspected to be marijuana, a bag containing a green leafy substance suspected to be marijuana and several other bags with a residue suspected to be from marijuana, Moeller said. A set of digital scales and $620 in cash was also found in the home.

McDonald was additionally arrested for possession of a controlled substance while in possession of a firearm, Moeller said.

That same day at 5 p.m., officers went to 1219 Fern Street, the home of 45-year-old Joe Aaron McDonald and 68-year-old Ruby Smith McDonald. Joe Aaron McDonald was arrested for sale of a controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a church for allegedly selling crack cocaine and Ruby Smith McDonald was arrested for a warrant for two counts of sale of controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a church, Moeller said.

A stop conducted on March 12 just before 1 p.m. for no turn signal led to the arrest of 57-year-old Jerry Anthony Stockstill and 38-year-old Priscilla Rose Cole. Moeller said that during the stop, detectives noticed an open container with a suspected alcoholic beverage in the vehicle, leading to a search. In the search, detectives found a bag containing a substance suspected to be methamphetamine, a container with a green leafy substance suspected to be marijuana and a glass pipe commonly used to inhale narcotics. A check of Stockstill’s record determined his license was suspended. Moeller said that Stockstill was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle and driving while license suspended, and Cole was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and open beer.

The next day, officers located 63-year-old Janet “Sunny” Burnette at a local business. She was arrested at 11 a.m. for a warrant for two counts of sale of a controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a church and conspiracy to sell a controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a church.

At about 5 p.m. that same day, detectives arrested Lawanda Mitchell Graves, 46, of 2604 Nina Dr., at her home for a warrant for sale of a controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a church and conspiracy to sell a controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a church, Moeller said.

At 7:54 p.m. that same day, detectives and patrol officers went to 1600 Sixth Ave., to serve 23-year-old Dustin Michael Gray with a search warrant. In that search, the detectives found several glass jars containing a green leafy substance suspected to be hydroponic marijuana, several bags containing a substance suspected to be hydroponic marijuana, and a set of digital scales with a residue suspected to be from marijuana, Moeller said. Gray was arrested for possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute within 1,500 feet of a church.

Moeller said the investigation is ongoing and he asks the community to report instances of suspected drug activity by calling 601-798-7411. Reports can be submitted anonymously by calling 601-799-CLUE(2583).

He also said he would like to thank the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department for providing assistance with the operation.