Federal investigation lands Bay St. Louis businessman behind bar - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Federal investigation lands Bay St. Louis businessman behind bars

Lonnie Ray (Photo source: Mississippi Department of Marine Resources) Lonnie Ray (Photo source: Mississippi Department of Marine Resources)
(Photo source: WLOX) (Photo source: WLOX)
(Photo source: WLOX) (Photo source: WLOX)
HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

A federal investigation spanning 10 months led to the arrest of a Bay St. Louis businessman early Wednesday morning.

Mississippi Department of Marine Resources spokeswoman Melissa Scallan said 46-year-old Lonnie Ray, the owner of Cowart's Seafood, was charged with felony cultivation of a controlled substance after Hancock County narcotics investigators raided his home and business.

WLOX reporter Al Showers was on the scene and said investigators confiscated marijuana and paraphernalia from the home. Scallan said guns were found inside the seafood business.

Scallan said Ray was also found to be in violation of the Lacey Act, a federal law that deals with the illegal import, export, selling or purchasing of fish, wildlife and plants. According to officials, the search turned up documents supporting the violation of the Lacey Act.

DMR Marine Patrol Chief Keith Davis said the investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected.

Officials with DMR Marine Patrol, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and Hancock County Sheriff's Office were involved in the raids.

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