Jackson County nets 13 drug arrests in 48 hours - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Jackson County nets 13 drug arrests in 48 hours

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

By Sylvia Hall – bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) – A Jackson County chiropractor and his girlfriend made their initial appearances in county court Monday on meth charges. Dr. Brady Toulme' and Callie Denise Stewart were arrested Friday after narcotics agents said they discovered a meth lab in Toulme's Escatawpa chiropractic clinic.

They appeared in court along with 11 other people arrested this weekend on drug charges in Jackson County.  Narcotics task force agents said the weekend's arrests were more than triple the numbers of a typical weekend. 

Handcuffed and shackled, 13 men and women filed into the Jackson County Courthouse, facing a wide array of drug charges.  Though many of the arrests were unrelated, the sheer number has narcotics officers astounded.

"We may receive callouts maybe one or two on a weekend, on an average weekend," said Narcotics Task Force Commander Curtis Spiers.  "A high weekend would be four or five, but you see 13 different people this weekend. It's crazy."

"We've got the full gamut," Spiers later added.  "We've got pills, prescription pills, we've got marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine."

Of the 13 defendants in court Monday, nine of them were there on charges related to meth.  Spiers said the meth arrests in Jackson County are increasing at an alarming rate.

Also alarming to Spiers are the 19 meth labs collected in the past seven days, some of them thrown on the side of the road.

"If you look at the first two months of this year, we recovered 24 meth labs," said Spiers.  "We've already got 25 for this month alone, 19 of them being in one week."

Spiers blames "shake and bake" meth manufacturing for the dramatic increase in meth labs.

"This is going to continue to spiral out of control unless we find some way to get a handle on it," said Spiers.

Spiers said he hopes a new state law making the meth ingredient Pseudoephedrine a Schedule III drug will help lower the number of accused meth users and manufacturers in Jackson County courtrooms.  The law goes into effect in July. 

Spiers said even though he's optimistic the new legislation will reduce the occurrence of meth labs, it won't stop them altogether.

"Is it going to make it go away?  Absolutely not," said Spiers.  "We live too close to the State of Alabama, the State of Florida and the State of Louisiana.  People are going to travel out of state to buy these pills."

Spiers said the Task Force will continue to pursue meth abusers and arrest them.

"If they're coming into Jackson County, we're going to catch them and they're going to jail," said Spiers.

Spiers said the Narcotics Task Force welcomes anonymous tips from the public. 

"We can't do this without the public," said Spiers.  "We can't have the success and we can't continue to fight this fight like we do without the public and without this information.  If it may seem like the least little bit of information we need that.  That may be the key that opens the door to something much larger than what we thought was there."

To contact the Narcotics Task Force with a tip, you can call (228) 769-3302 or click here to send an email.

County Judge T. Larry Wilson asked all of the accused to get help if they have drug problems so he won't see them in the courtroom again. 

The Jackson County Narcotics Task Force released this list of those arrested this weekend.

   John Hammonds; charged with Possession of Cocaine; I-10

   Jerry Mitchell' charged with Possession of Marijuana; Moss Point                   

   Rita Shay Vaughn; charged with Possession of Opana (pills); Vancleave                 

   Jonathan Mims; charged with Possession of Crack Cocaine; Gautier                       

   Robbie Joe Spears, Terrance Mckinney and Karla Burtt; charged with Manufacturing  Meth, Possession of Precursors and Generation of Hazardous Waste; Helena                                       

   David Mabry and Shon McGordon; charged with Manufacturing Meth and Generation of Hazardous Waste; Helena

   Christopher Dolan and David Keene; charged with Possession of Meth; Ocean Springs    

   *Brady Toulme and Callie Stewart; charged with Manufacturing Meth, Possession of Precursors, Possession of Meth, Generation of Hazardous Waste; Escatawpa

*all of Toulme and Stewart's charges are within 1500 feet of a church while in possession of a firearm.

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