HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A Moss Point man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for a 2016 traffic stop, where nearly 200 ecstasy pills were found in his vehicle.
Shawn Oliff Lavant, 28, was convicted of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
According to the district attorney, Lavant's crime fell under the narcotics trafficking statute, which means he will serve a minimum of 10 years day for day without the possibility of parole or early release.
The charge stemmed from a traffic stop in Biloxi on April 17, 2016, where officers found 186 ecstasy pills in Lavant's vehicle, as well as marijuana and more than $1,000 in cash.
Biloxi Police say Lavant was pulled over for driving with no headlights. During that traffic stop, the officer observed an open beer inside the vehicle. A DUI officer was called to the scene to administer a field sobriety test.
DUI Officer Jason Cummings testified in court that he saw Lavant slip something between the driver seat and the console. Following that observation, the officers requested and received consent to search the vehicle.
"An unlabeled pill bottle was located between the seat and the center console containing assorted multi-colored pills which the officers immediately recognized as ecstasy," said assistant district attorney Ian Baker, who prosecuted the case. "A second pill bottle was recovered from the center console containing additional ecstasy, bringing the total amount recovered to 186 dosage units."
In court, a forensic scientist with Mississippi Forensic Lab testified in court that the ecstasy found in Lavant's vehicle contained methamphetamine. A narcotics officer with Biloxi Police also testified that ecstasy pills with methamphetamine were becoming more common because it's easier to find and cheaper to make than MDMA.