Meridian Star

Local News

October 11, 2013

Three arrested in sting operation

MERIDIAN —     Three people, two men and a woman, were arrested Wednesday afternoon after agents of the East Mississippi Drug Task Force conducted a sting operation against what Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department officials are calling major players in illegal drug operations in Lauderdale County.

    LCSD Chief Dep. Ward Calhoun said agents arrested the three suspects after a lengthy investigation into alleged illegal drug activity at a home in Toomsuba. Calhoun said two of the suspects were arrested at the residence when the operation was launched while the third was captured after a short vehicle pursuit down Highway 11/80.

    Calhoun said those charged with several drug activity offenses are, Jeremy Keith Lovell, 34, Jeremy K. Holcombe, 33, and Ashley Pearce, 26. All three of the suspects are charged with possession of crystal methamphetamine, conspiracy to sell crystal methamphetamine, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of Xanax. Lovell, because he led LCSD authorities on a vehicle pursuit, was additionally charged with felony fleeing and eluding law enforcement.

    None of the bonds for the three suspects has been set but Calhoun said given Lovell was already out on a bond from Wayne County, he believes that Lovell won't be granted a bond.

    Calhoun said agents with the EMDTF had been monitoring the residence located in the 3500 block of Highway 11/80 in Toomsuba and investigating the alleged activities there for several weeks before deciding to launch the sting operation. At about 2 p.m. Wednesday, agents with the task force and deputies with the LCSD converged on the location. During the operation Calhoun said Lovell was able to get into a truck and try to escape.

    "The chase didn't last long before he lost control and wrecked the truck," Calhoun said. "That is when we took him into custody without further incident."

    Calhoun said the wreck occurred at Highway 11/80 and Will Garrett Road.

    Calhoun said agents and deputies confiscated several ounces of crystal methamphetamine and marijuana, along with about $2,000 in cash. Calhoun said the truck in which Lovell tried to make good his escape also was seized.

    Talking about the perceived amount of illegal narcotics the trio are believed to have been moving through Lauderdale County, Calhoun referred to the suspects as "major players."

    "This was a good investigation and arrest," Calhoun said. "The agents on the task force put in a lot of long hours on this and we at the department are always appreciative of their commitment to get these people and the drugs they peddle out of our communities."

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