Thursday, March 23, 2006
four on drug charges
By SUE WATSON
Four Marshall County residents were arrested over the weekend on narcotics and drug trafficking charges, according to Sheriff Kenny Dickerson.
Friday, March 17, officers with the 3rd Judicial Narcotics Task Force, Mississippi Department of Corrections and Marshall County Sheriffs Department arrested two in the Byhalia area and one in the Watson area.
Cedric Richmond, 50, of the Byhalia area was charged with the sale of crack cocaine and with conspiracy to sell crack cocaine, Dickerson said. Bond was set at $10,000 on these charges; however, Richmond was out on a previous felony bond and is being held in jail awaiting Justice and Circuit court appearances, Dickerson said.
Lee Newsom, 51, of the Byhalia area was also arrested and charged with the possession and sale of crack cocaine and conspiracy to sell crack cocaine. He remains in jail with bond set at $10,000, the sheriff said.
Ricky B. Hardin, 43, of the Tyson Road area in Watson, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to sell narcotics and is presently out on $10,000 bond, Dickerson said.
On Monday, March 20, the same officers arrested Lorenzo Harper, 47, of the Potts Camp area. Harper was charged with possession of crack cocaine with intent to sell, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of firearms by a convicted felon. Officers seized about $750 in cash, a 20 ga. shotgun, a .30.30 rifle, and a .38 caliber pistol, Dickerson said.
Harper is being held by MDOC for probation violation, the sheriff said.
Dickerson said arrests similar to these target suspects who were believed by the community to be selling drugs to youth.
We try to keep drugs from getting into the hands of youth because crack and crystal methamphetamine are so addictive, Dickerson said.
About 90 percent who try crystal methamphetamine are hooked from the first use, he said.
Crack cocaine is the preferred drug of choice of African-Americans while crystal methamphetamine is the drug of choice of caucasians, he said.
Dickerson said the addictive power of crystal methamphetamine is getting the attention of law makers and new legislation is designed to decrease availability of the precursors, Actifed Triprolidine and Pseudoephedrine, in non-prescription cold and flu medicines.
We put more in our budget for prevention and education for youth to prevent first use, he said.
Crystal methamphetamine addiction is associated with low self-esteem, gum disease and loss of teeth, and criminal activity connected with seeking more of the substance, Dickerson said.
I am hoping some day Congress will find a lot more for prevention so we would need a lot less jail cells, he said.
About 80 percent of drug use is associated with crime to support the drug habit, loss of job, even murder in some cases, he said.
It severely affects the brain and thought process of people who would otherwise not resort to violence at all, Dickerson said. They do things they otherwise would not do ranging from theft on to crimes of violence.
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