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Jones County 911 dispatchers answering more than calls, arrested on drug charges

LAUREL (AP) — Two 911 dispatchers from the Jones County Emergency Operations Center were arrested on drug charges after deputies received information from a prison inmate.

Angel C. Hardwick, 25, of Seminary and Paxton C. Luke, 24, of Laurel were arrested on felony charges of conspiracy to possess a controlled substance. Luke is also charged with possession with intent.

A news release from the Jones County Sheriff’s Office said an unidentified man in prison implicated Hardwick and Luke in several drug-related incidents.

Hardwick admitted when confronted at her home that she was buying and using drugs. When she allowed investigators to look at her phone a message appeared from Luke saying “Hey, I found some lortabs,” Sheriff Alex Hodges said.

When investigators confronted Luke while she was exiting her vehicle at work, she threw her purse into her vehicle and refused to allow deputies to search her car. After a search warrant was secured, deputies found 28 1/2 lortabs and drug paraphernalia, Hodges said. Deputies also saw messages on Luke’s phone instructing someone to meet her at the EOC to buy pills.

The news release said the inmate who provided information did not receive leniency for his help and that the EOC dispatch center is not run by Jones County Sheriff’s Office.