Thursday, February 9, 2006

Probe nets drug arrests
• Suspects lead high-speed chase

Staff Writer

A long-term investigation into illegal drugs culminated in the arrest of two suspects, according to Marshall County Sheriff Kenny Dickerson.

Wes C. Garner, 26, and Curtisa Prather, 20, both of the Ripley area, were taken into custody in early January following a chase by law officers from the Potts Camp area into Benton County, he said.

The investigation closed in on the two suspects when officers with Marshall County Sheriff’s Department and Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) attempted to stop Wes Garner in the Potts Camp area regarding possible narcotics violations, Dickerson said.

“Wes Garner and Prather fled pursuing officers from a location in Potts Camp several miles on a rural road leading into Benton County and were finally taken into custody at the intersection of Beck Springs Road and Mississippi Highway 5 near Abel’s Store community south of Ashland,” he said.

During the high-speed chase, the suspects threw out numerous items from the vehicle, some of which was recovered, he said.

Marijuana and crystal methamphetamine were recovered from the vehicle and hydrocodone pills and crack cocaine were recovered among the items that were believed to have been thrown out of the vehicle. Prather was driving while Garner attempted to discard illegal drugs, Dickerson said.

One gram of methamphetamine that was spilled inside the vehicle was swept up and recovered.

“Following the arrests about $29,416 in cash was seized from the vehicle,” Dickerson said. “Also seized were five other motor vehicles from a location south of Potts Camp. The vehicles were believed to be related to and contributing to the drug act.”

Garner was arrested and charged with possession of crack cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and oxycodone with intent to distribute, Dickerson said.

“Prather, who was driving the vehicle, is charged with conspiracy to sell controlled substances and felony evading or eluding law officers under high-speed chase felony statutes,” the sheriff said.

Garner and Prather were brought to Marshall County Jail, charged and then were released on $20,000 bond each, Dickerson said.

Garner also was charged in Tippah County on two counts of selling illegal controlled substances prior to his arrest and charges in Marshall County.

Bart Garner, 28, was also taken into custody in the Potts Camp area following the arrest of his brother. He was charged with parole violation, Dickerson said. He was later released by order of MDOC.

Also assisting Marshall County in the arrest were officers with the 3rd Judicial Narcotics Enforcement team, the MDOC and the Benton County Sheriff’s Department.

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