Drug roundup results in five arrests in county

Published 5:00 am Monday, March 10, 2008

As the war on drugs in Lincoln County continues, local and statelaw enforcement officials say a statewide crackdown on Wednesdayhad local repercussions.

Five arrests were made locally in Wednesday’s roundup thatnetted 102 arrests statewide. Officials said the SouthwestMississippi Narcotics Unit, the Brookhaven Police Department, theLincoln County Sheriff’s Office and the Mississippi Bureau ofNarcotics worked from 8 a.m. to around 5 p.m. in what was referredto as “Operation Byrne Blitz 2008.”

SMNU Commander Tim Vanderslice said it was a joint effort underthe Byrnes Grant, which funds the drug-stopping efforts of theagencies involved.

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“We … tried to get good addresses on these people and wherethey’re laying their heads at, because they never lay their headsin the same place,” Vanderslice said. “We started at 8 and let theschool traffic get in, so there were no school buses or kids on thestreets, got started with the roundup. We all just joined togetherto pick up some of these offenders.”

Five arrests were made in Lincoln County and three moreoffenders are already detained but indictments have not beenserved. Arrested Wednesday were:

* Christopher Smith, 30, of 922 Old Brook Road. Indictment forunlawful possession of cocaine and unlawful possession ofmarijuana.

* Robert Pharr, 25, of 126 W. Enterprise St. Indictment forunlawful sale of marijuana and unlawful sale of cocaine.

* Joyce Allen, 25, of 900 Williams St., Apt. 38. Indictment forunlawful possession of cocaine with intent to distribute within1,500 of the church, and unlawful possession of marijuana within1,500 feet of a church.

* Barbara Tyler, 40, of 736 Nola Road. Indictment for sale ofcocaine within 1,500 feet of a church.

* Dennis Morgan, 41, of Wiley Lane, Liberty. Indictment forunlawful possession of cocaine.

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said authorities servedwarrants that had not yet been served on several people withindictments.

“We’re working together well on the local level and I fullyexpect to see more types of these arrests and cases in the futurebecause of the good working relationship we have with BPD andSMNU,” said Rushing.

Vanderslice agreed that if it were not for the joint efforts ofthe agencies involved, the roundup would not have beensuccessful.

“I really appreciate all the agencies that assisted because wecan’t do it ourselves,” he said. “If it wasn’t for the BPD and thesheriff’s department going out and making arrests and turningpeople over, we wouldn’t be able to do these drug buys andarrests.”

Rushing said every drug arrest is a strike in the ongoing battleagainst drug problems in Brookhaven and Lincoln County.

“People can expect to continue to see future drug arrests beyondthese, because we’re trying to clean up the drug problems inLincoln County,” said Rushing.

Vanderslice said between Pike and Lincoln County, 32 arrestswere made Wednesday.

“These are actual dealers,” Vanderslice said. “We picked up someold indictments that have never been served.”