Monticello man facing drug charges

Published 5:00 am Thursday, June 14, 2001

MONTICELLO — A Monticello man remains in jail this weekfollowing the largest crack cocaine seizure in several years,authorities said.

John Porter, 27, P.O. Box 1914, was arrested June 7 during araid on his home on Highway 84 West near James Cox Road by deputiesand agents of the Pearl River Basin Narcotics Task Force, accordingto Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Jimmy Barton.Porter is charged with one count each of possession of a controlledsubstance (crack cocaine) and possession of a controlled substance(marijuana).

“We consider him a mid- to upper-level drug dealer in LawrenceCounty. We believe this will put a dent in the drug problem here,”Barton said.

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Porter remains in jail today under a $35,000 bond set June 8 byJustice Court Judge Donnie Mullins during an initialappearance.

Deputies and agents were acting on a tip, Barton said, when theyexecuted a search warrant at Porter’s house. They found him in thebathroom allegedly flushing an unknown quantity of crack andpowdered cocaine down the toilet.

He had a small amount of crack and powdered cocaine on him aswell as approximately an ounce of marijuana and $726 in cash,Barton said.

The cash was seized and a seizure is still pending on Porter’s1990 Chevy Astrovan, he said.

“We also had information he had a large amount of drugsconcealed behind the house,” Barton said.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chris Picou and the drugdog assisted with a search of a shed behind Porter’s home. Insidethe shed, officers uncovered two and one-half cookies of crackcocaine with an estimated street value of $5,000.

“This is the biggest crack bust we’ve made to date,” saidBarton, who joined the department when Sheriff Joel Thames tookoffice in 1999. “Two and one-half cookies is a lot of crack.

“We want to send the message that drugs will not be toleratedand we will continue to be hard on the drug dealer,” he added.

Barton said public support is appreciated and everyone iswelcome to call the sheriff’s office to leave anonymous tips oncriminal activity.