UPDATE: Nineteen arrested in Itawamba drug sting

1STOCK gray jailbars DRUG ARREST

NOTE: This is an update of a story published on July 14 on itawambatimes.com.

Nineteen people were recently arrested and charged as part of a countywide roundup of suspects indicted through the Itawamba County Jury.

Officials with the Itawamba County Sheriff’s Department released the names last week.

The suspects included:

  • Henry Ashby, 57, of 213 Kennedy Street, Fulton, was charged with the sale of cocaine. His bond was set at $10,000. He is currently being held in the Rankin County Jail.
  • Elvis Blankenship, 47, of 7933 Highway 371 North, Mantachie, was charged with conspiracy to sell methamphetamine, sale of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine. His bond was set at $35,000. He is currently out of jail on bond.
  • Beau Britton Umfress, 32, of 2166 Benson-Jones Road, was charged with two counts sale of methamphetamine. His bond was set at $15,000, and he is currently being held in the Itawamba County Jail.
  • Delbert Lemont Colburn, 38, of 1825 Dulaney-Wilemon Road, Fulton, was charged with three counts sale of cocaine. His bond was set at $30,000; he is currently being held in the Itawamba County Jail.
  • Dewayne Ashby, 57, of 213 Kennedy Street, was charged with two counts sale of cocaine. At his initial hearing, his bond was set at $20,000. He is currently being held in the Itawamba County Jail.
  • Ricky D. Steele, 53, of 1590 Otto Forest Road, Fulton, was charged with manufacture of methamphetamine. During his initial court appearance, he was issued a bond of $10,000. He is currently released from jail.
  • Delvonta Ravon Crayton, 21, of 103 Casey Street, Fulton, was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell. He was issued a $5,000 bond during his initial appearance, and he is currently out of jail.
  • Lerance Terrell Colburn, 32, of 206 North Rose Street, Fulton, was charged with possession of methamphetamine. He was issued a $5,000 bond and is currently released from jail.
  • Rita Jean Buckingham, 40, of unknown residence, was charged with possession of methamphetamine. She was given a bond of $5,000 and is currently released from jail.
  • Rolan Andrew Barlow, 33, of 39 Reeds Creek Road, Fulton, was charged with possession of methamphetamine with a firearm, possession of morphine with a firearm and felon in possession of a weapon. He was issued a $40,000 bond during his initial court appearance. Barlow is currently being held at Itawamba County Jail.
  • Michael Scott Rollins, 23, of 3288 Highway 178 West, Fulton, was charged with possession of methamphetamine. He was issued an initial bond of $5,000 and is currently being held in Rankin County Jail.
  • Tammy Denise Pannell, 45, of 4315 Hardins Chapel Road, Fulton, was charged with the sale of oxycodone. She was given a bond of $10,000 and is currently out of jail.
  • Kimberly Williams, 36, of 307 Highway 371 North, Mooreville, was charged with possession of methamphetamine. Her bond was set at $5,000; she is currently out of jail.
  • Lauren Jennifer Marie Fisher, 23, of 188 Landline Road, Brilliant, Ala., was charged with possession of oxycodone. She was issued a bond of $5,000 and is currently out of jail.
  • Jordan Trey Newell, 23, of 8851 Highway 363, Mantachie, was charged with possession of methamphetamine. He was issued a bond of $5,000 and is currently out of jail.
  • Brandon Lynn Williams, 29, of 312 County Road 2442, Guntown, was charged with possession of methamphetamine. His bond was set at $5,000. Williams is currently released from jail.
  • Brandon Lee McClean, 18, of 1644 Martin Luther King Street, Fulton, was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell. His bond was set at $5,000, and he is currently out of jail.
  • Andrew Joshua Blake, 29, of 3585 Van Buren-Carolina Road, Nettleton, was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to manufacture. Blake’s bond was set at $10,000. He is currently released from jail.

Law enforcement officials say there are still charges pending on some suspects.

The arrests involved the participation of the Itawamba County Sheriff’s Department, Fulton Police Department, U.S. Marshals Service and the Mississippi Highway patrol. Investigation into several of the cases lasted for more than six months, officials say.

Itawamba County Sheriff Chris Dickinson said it’s satisfying to see lengthy investigations pay off with arrests.

“These are cases we have been working on for several months. We just kept our noses to the grindstone and were able to bring everything to fruition — the work that we had done,” Dickinson said. “The longer we invest in a case, the greater the reward will be for us.”

Even in something as seemingly cut and dry as a drug case, an arrest can be preceded by months of investigation. The sheriff said it can take anywhere from days to months to gather enough evidence to make an arrest.

While Dickinson said he’s pleased to see such a productive roundup, he said the next round of indictments will likely be just as busy as this one.

“Keeping drugs out of the county is just as hard as keeping a fish out of the river … I don’t know if you’ll ever get it completely stopped, but we’re going to keep working it,” he said. “If good citizens are paying attention, then these criminals are, too. Being successful helps deter crime. If criminals see that we’re being successful, that makes them want to go somewhere else.”

adam.armour@journalinc.com

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