Drug raid nets 7 arrests on meth charges

Published 5:00 am Thursday, May 5, 2005

A drug raid on a Lawrence County residence Tuesday nightresulted in the arrest of seven adults and put a 7-year-old instate custody.

Johnny Speights, 50, and Robin Calcote Rogers, 32, both of 85Virginia Speights Lane, were charged with possession of acontrolled substance (methamphetamine) and possession of precursorchemicals with intent to manufacture meth, said Lawrence CountySheriff Joel Thames.

Five others were arrested in the raid, but their names werewithheld pending an ongoing investigation. Charges against thosesuspects were expected to be filed today, said Mississippi Bureauof Narcotics Capt. Mike Aldridge.

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The 7-year-old girl found at the home, where a meth lab was setup for use but not “cooking” at the time, is Rogers’ daughter. Thechild has been placed into the custody of the Department of HumanServices, Thames said.

Speights and Rogers were scheduled to appear for an initialhearing on the charges in Lawrence County Justice Court thismorning.

Thames credited the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department fordeveloping the information which led to the raid.

Lincoln County Sheriff Wiley Calcote said when authoritiesreceived the information, they notified MBN and obtained a searchwarrant for Speights’ home. MBN notified the Lawrence CountySheriff’s Department.

A task force of 15 officers from the three agencies executed thewarrant on Speights’ home around 6 p.m. Tuesday.

“When we drove up, they were outside and saw us. They scatteredlike quail,” Thames said.

Officers captured all the suspects except one, whose name waswithheld. The suspect turned himself in to the Lawrence CountySheriff’s Department on Wednesday afternoon.

A “large amount” of meth was found on Speights and Rogers,Thames said.

A meth lab was also found, Calcote said. The lab was not in useat the time, but all the chemicals necessary to produce meth werepresent.

“This is a big bust,” Thames said. “Johnny’s name has been usedin alleged drug activity for many, many years. Prior to my becomingsheriff, I had heard his name in connection with drugs.”

The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department has been monitoringSpeights and kept an open file on his activities.

“Over the years, we’ve continued to receive reports, but theinformation was never timely enough to obtain a search warrant,”Thames said.

A raid on Speights’ home in 2000 shortly after Thames wonelection as sheriff resulted in an arrest on a misdemeanor amountof marijuana. However, he said the “big prize” was missed.

Calcote said Speights’ name was not unknown to Lincoln Countylaw enforcement officers either.

“Johnny Speights’ name has come up again and again in relationto drug crimes – at least for as long as I’ve been in lawenforcement,” he said. “Speights has been dealing for a long timeand this arrest should have a direct effect on crystal meth saleshere as well as in surrounding counties.”

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department was also investigatingSpeights.

“We have been working on an investigation of Speights forseveral years,” Calcote said.

In addition to the Lawrence County charges, Speights has alsobeen charged with conspiracy in Lincoln County. Other charges mayalso be levied against him by MBN agents.