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Four drivers arrested on drug counts

An expired tag netted a Texas man far more than a misdemeanortraffic fine Thursday morning when Lincoln County deputies foundmore than 20 lbs. of marijuana hidden in the vehicle.

Enrique Davis, 35, of 1806 Adrian St., Harlingen, Texas, wascharged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute,possession of beer, no insurance and expired tag following theincident, Lincoln County Sheriff Wiley Calcote said.

Davis was stopped in his 1994 Ford Ranger while traveling northon I-55 when Deputy Howard Chandler saw the expired tag, Calcotesaid. During the arrest, Chandler became suspicious and calledDeputy Jason Cole for support. Cole’s dog alerted on the trucktire.

“It was in the tire so they had to cut the tire open to retrievethe drugs,” the sheriff said.

The Ford Ranger was seized during the arrest, Calcote said.

The 20 lb. seizure was the capstone of a busy two weeks of drugarrests, which included the seizure of an commercial 18-wheeler,Calcote said.

An empty 1985 Peterbuilt 18-wheel cattle trailer was seizedMonday after Deputy B.W. Pitts pulled it over for no tag and foundthe driver, Steven Ray Fairburn, 32, of Kentwood, La., inpossession of two grams of methamphetamines. Fairburn was alsocharged with not having insurance.

Fairburn was the owner and operator of the truck.

“Just the fact of possession of controlled substance is enoughfor a seizure because the truck was being used to facilitate thetransfer of the drug,” Calcote said.

While running a driver’s license checkpoint at the intersectionof California Road and Hilltop Lane Saturday, Cole was questioningthe driver of a vehicle when he noticed something peculiar insidethe vehicle.

“He saw a large bag of marijuana in plain view,” Calcotesaid.

Cole arrested passenger Larry Rutland Jr., 26, of 827 DentonTrl., with possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine andpossession of meth. The cocaine and meth were found on Rutlandduring the course of the arrest, the sheriff said.

The driver was also arrested, but he is only charged withmisdemeanor traffic violations.

Capt. Lance Falvey seized more than one pound of marijuana onNov. 30 during a traffic stop on I-55.

Tommy Luvell Milton, 40, of 1821 Marshall Place, Jackson, wascharged with possession of one pound of marijuana with intent todistribute, careless driving and no insurance in relation to theincident, Calcote said.

The sheriff said Falvey smelled marijuana during the arrest onthe traffic charges and a subsequent search allegedly found the baghidden under Milton’s shirt.

“That dope was headed here from Texas,” Calcote said. “He hadgone, there and bought it.”

Drug interdiction and prevention is the department’s toppriority, he said.

“These guys have been working really hard, putting in extratime, to get this stopped,” Calcote said. “Our main object is tostop drugs from coming into Lincoln County, but removing drugs fromthe street headed anywhere is good, too.”

Through the holiday season, he said, there will be more patrolswith more deputies working each shift.

“I hope the high visibility of the officers in the communitiesmay deter some criminal activity,” Calcote said.