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Complaints by neighbors lead to arrests in drug raid


Tim Pratt



STARKVILLE -- The investigation into possible drug activity in the Blackjack community outside of Starkville began six months ago, when neighbors complained to police about a high volume of traffic coming in and out of homes on Loco and Theodis roads. 


The culmination of the investigation came Monday, when three people were arrested after an early morning drug raid yielded cocaine, marijuana, $17,000 in cash and a .40-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun. 


Investigators and tactical teams with the Oktibbeha County Sheriff''s Department, Starkville Police Department and Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics executed a series of search warrants in the Blackjack community sometime between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m., SPD Lt. Maurice Johnson said. 


Ricky Chandler, 41, of 1562 Loco Road was arrested on six counts of sale of cocaine and one count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute; Shanette Griffin, 24, of 1495 Oak St., was arrested on one count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute; Robert Neal, 31, of 1562A Loco Road, was arrested on one count of sale of cocaine, one count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and one count of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. 


Investigators seized approximately 4 ounces of cocaine, 1 pound of marijuana and about $17,000 in cash during the raids. 


Authorities first caught wind of possible drug activity in the area when neighbors began to complain about the high volume of traffic coming in and out of the homes, Johnson said.  


"Basically, it initially started with the community," Johnson said. 


Eventually, separate investigations into area drug activity by the Sheriff''s Department and Starkville police "intersected," Johnson said, and the two entities began working together to establish a case.  


The Clay County Sheriff''s Department, Mississippi State University Police Department and Columbus Metro Narcotics team also assisted in the investigation, which still is ongoing. 


"We''re still in the process of gathering intel," Johnson said.




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Reader Comments

Article Comment James H. commented at 6/4/2009 10:12:00 AM:

Great example of an community that is aware of thing that happening around them. Great job,Blackjack


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