Pot, coke seized by officers

Published 5:00 am Thursday, May 27, 2004

A Brookhaven man was arrested Wednesday when an anonymous tipturned up marijuana plants at his residence, according to lawenforcement officials.

Also Wednesday, the Mississippi Highway Patrol seized $4 millionworth of cocaine in a traffic stop.

In the Brookhaven case, Ray E. Bailey, 40, of 2194 Fleming Loop,has been charged with a felony count of manufacturing marijuana. Hehas been released on a $5,000 bond.

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Sgt. John Whitaker, a deputy with the Lincoln County Sheriff’sDepartment (LCSD), said an anonymous tip led officers to believeBailey was growing the marijuana plants at his residence.

“Following up on the tip, we drove to the residence anddiscovered two marijuana plants growing next to the house on theback porch,” Whitaker said.

Officers called Bailey at his place of employment and asked himto come to his home, said Brookhaven Police Officer John Douglas,who is also an agent with the Southwest Mississippi Task Force.

Bailey, who stated he was growing the marijuana for personaluse, was questioned and arrested at his home, said Capt. DustinBairfield with LCSD.

Two four-foot tall marijuana plants and some drug paraphernaliawere seized, Bairfield said. The plants, which were abouthalf-grown, would produce about 1 to 1.5 pounds of marijuanaeach.

Sheriff Wiley Calcote also assisted in the investigation.

In a separate and unrelated case, Ruben Alvarez Perez, 34, ofMission, Texas, has been charged with possession of cocaine withintent to distribute after his arrest by the MHP.

Other charges may be pending, said SSgt. Rod Crawford, publicrelations officer for MHP Troop M. Perez was still in the PikeCounty Jail Thursday morning.

According to reports, Crawford said, Cpl. Scott Carnegie waspatrolling when he pulled over a 2003 Dodge pickup driven by Perezfor a traffic violation at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday near the SouthMcComb exit on I-55 North.

Carnegie became suspicious and, after receiving permission toconduct a search, found 81 pounds of powdered cocaine in 34cellophane-wrapped bundles in the gas tank. The cocaine has astreet value of more than $4 million, Crawford said.

Perez was en route to the Atlanta, Ga., area, he said.