Alleged drug dealer and mother-in-law arrested - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Alleged drug dealer and mother-in-law arrested

Eric Eugene "E-40" Tait. Image source: Jackson County Sheriff's Department. Eric Eugene "E-40" Tait. Image source: Jackson County Sheriff's Department.
Terry Jean "TP" Patterson. Image source: Jackson County Sheriff's Department. Terry Jean "TP" Patterson. Image source: Jackson County Sheriff's Department.
Items reportedly seized from Tait's home. Image source: Jackson County Sheriff's Department. Items reportedly seized from Tait's home. Image source: Jackson County Sheriff's Department.
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

A suspect, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd called a, "major drug dealer" and his mother-in-law was arrested Wednesday by agents with the Narcotics Task Force of Jackson County.    

According to Byrd, Eric Eugene "E-40" Tait of Escatawpa is accused of playing a key role in the criminal activity at "The Hole" in Kreole in Jackson County. Tait's mother-in-law, Terry Jean "TP" Patterson, 49, was also arrested on a charge of possession of crack cocaine.

Byrd described "The Hole" as an area of vacant, overgrown lots and houses that have been plagued with drugs, prostitution, murders and robberies for at least three decades. Tips from citizens helped lead to Tait's arrest, Byrd added.

When authorities arrested Tait at his home, they reportedly seized a .38 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver, a quarter piece of crack cocaine cookie and an undetermined amount of cash.

Agents said they believe that gun might have been stolen in a 2008 auto burglary that occurred near Tait's home. Tait faces charges of possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute while in possession of a firearm.

If convicted, Tait faces up to 14 years of prison and a $250,000 fine. Since Tait allegedly had a weapon when he was arrested, Byrd said, the judge could double the sentence and fine. Byrd said Tait was arrested last month on a drug charge. He was freed on $5,000 bail. Byrd said, that bail is expected to be revoked, which could keep him in jail until the charge is resolved.

Tait and Patterson were both taken to the Jackson County Adult Detention Center.

Sheriff Mike Byrd said anyone with information about drug activity in Jackson County should call the Narcotics Task Force of Jackson County at 228-769-3302.         

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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