Several arrested on drug charges

Published 5:00 am Monday, August 25, 2003

A tip from a concerned citizen has allowed authorities to “builda solid case” and arrest a Brookhaven woman for selling drugs,officials said. The arrest is just one of several in recentdays.

MDOC Officer John Purser said he acted quickly Friday when aconcerned citizen informed him of drug activity involving a womanidentified as Bessie Brothern, 63, of 103 Weems Street.

Purser called Narcotics Agent Dustin Bairfield of the LincolnCounty Sheriff’s Department and an investigation began with someundercover work at Eastview Apartments, said Bairfield.

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“We did a buy-bust on the sale of crack cocaine,” saidBairfield. “She made a hand delivery of crack cocaine, and we paidher out of official funds. Then she was arrested and the funds werestill in her possession.”

Brothern was charged with the sale of crack cocaine and is beingheld in the Lincoln County Jail on a $100,000 cash only bond.

“We took another dope dealer off the street with informationfrom the community,” said Purser.

Brandon Blight, commander of the Southwest Mississippi NarcoticsUnit, was also proud to see officers make an important arrest thatwill have a “major impact” on the area.

“I’ve known about Bessie Brothern since 1997. She’s been asignificant violator and somebody we’ve been after for a long time.The Brookhaven Police Department is constantly getting complaints,so I’m glad we were able to make an arrest,” he said.

Blight said the arrest is just one of many in an ongoinginvestigation to tackle the area’s drug problem by taking dealersoff the street.

“I think you will see a significant reduction in the cocainetraffic in the Brookhaven area,” he said. “We’re targeting dealersin the Brookhaven-Lincoln County area, and you will see morearrests in the future.”

In other law enforcement activity, Lincoln County Sheriff’sDepartment Capt. Chris Picou and Southwest Mississippi NarcoticsUnit Dep. Comm. John Douglas arrested Jason Hutson, 19, of 2452Ellzey Trail, Wesson, for possession of marijuana with intent tosell Tuesday night following a visit to the residence.

“John Douglas had received some information that he (Hutson) hada large amount of marijuana at his house,” said Picou. “We wereable to work together to go out and get this guy.”

Authorities found a little over 2 oz. of marijuana, with anestimated street value of $600, bagged for individual sale afterHutson consented to a search.

Picou believes Hutson was a major dealer to young people in thearea.

“This is a young person selling to our youth,” said Picou.

Hutson was taken to the Lincoln County Jail and is now out onbond.

A few hours later, Picou and his drug dog, Belle, were able tomake two other arrests in an unrelated case.

Picou had Belle searching the perimeter of a local hotel whenshe alerted him to a room there, he said.

“She ran by a room and started scratching, which means she couldsmell the odor of a controlled substance coming from that room,”said Picou.

Picou knocked on the door, smelled the odor of marijuanaburning, and received consent from the occupants to search theroom.

“When I searched the room, I found a little over two and a halfounces of marijuana bagged up in dime baggies and right at a halfounce of crack (cocaine),” he said.

The crack cocaine, estimated to have a $640 street value, wasfound underneath a Bible in the night stand, while the marijuana,about $600 street value, was found in the bed.

Dennis Lee, 17, of 242 Marr St., was arrested and charged as anadult with possession of marijuana with intent to sell andpossession of crack cocaine with intent to sell. Lee was out onbond for the same charges by the Brookhaven Police Department. Heremains in the Lincoln County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

Picou also arrested Keisha Hargro, 23, of 110 West HighlandDrive, at the scene and charged her with possession of marijuana.She was taken to the Lincoln County Jail and is out on bond.