Confederate Flag Shop Owner Faces Drug Charges - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

08/12/04

Confederate Flag Shop Owner Faces Drug Charges

The man who owns a familiar souvenir and flag store in Stone County faces federal drug charges.

Ron Sisk is best known for flying a giant confederate flag outside his "Confederate Collectibles" store on Highway 49.

The 49 year old Sisk is now in federal custody, facing a three count complaint that involves a loaded weapon, drug paraphernalia and drug manufacturing. The FBI took the lead in the ongoing investigation, which began in 1999 and ended with a raid at Sisk's home and business early Thursday.

As the familiar confederate flag flew overhead early Thursday, more than two dozen FBI agents and police officers swarmed Ron Sisk's home and property. They searched buildings and vehicles at "Confederate Collectibles" on the west side of Highway 49, along with his "Southern Oaks" business on the east side of 49.

Robert Garrity Jr. is the FBI agent in charge.

"We're executing a search warrant on the premises and the businesses owned by Ronald Sisk. It's a drug related search warrant. We're looking for paraphernalia and methamphetamine," Garrity said.

Sisk and a female companion spent several hours sitting nervously on or near a picnic table as the officers carried out their assignment.

FBI agents say the serving of multiple, federal search warrants is the result of a long term, ongoing investigation. Sisk was arrested by state authorities earlier this summer, but that case is separate from this federal investigation.

"We know that Mr. Sisk is a convicted felon. He was recently arrested, as recently as six weeks ago, by state authorities. And we had information that he is still producing methamphetamine and still selling them," Garrity said.

That earlier charge, still pending, is felony marijuana possession, the result of a Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics investigation.

Thursday's federal search found a loaded .32 caliber pistol, drug paraphernalia and a chemical used for making methamphetamine.

The FBI investigation began in 1999, when an unnamed informant claimed he bought illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia from Sisk.

"We've been watching Mr. Sisk, his activities, for awhile now," Garrity explained.

Ron Sisk was convicted of felony possession of marijuana in Florida back in 1976. These latest charges include possession of a firearm by a felon and the illegal sale of drug paraphernalia. The third charge is the most serious, possession of a pre-cursor chemical, Ephedrine, which is used in the making of methamphetamine.

Sisk, who is being held without bond, faces a detention hearing in federal court Monday afternoon.

During Thursday's initial appearance, Sisk told federal magistrate John Roper he makes 10 to 12 thousand dollars a month selling flags and souvenirs at his two businesses. Sisk asked for, but was denied a court appointed attorney.

Judge Roper told Sisk that he wouldn't likely qualify for court appointed counsel, since his income is 10 to 12 thousand dollars a month, and he owns property valued at some 200 to 300 thousand dollars.

By Steve Phillips

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