Natchez drug ring busted

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 18, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; Five individuals arrested Wednesday night are part of a local drug ring, law enforcement officers said Friday.

And the roughly 55 grams of elite crystal methamphetamine ice authorities confiscated in their arrests would go for about $10,000 on the street.

Metro Narcotics agents had been running surveillance on 809 Eastwood Road for some time and considered it a known drug house, Cmdr. Cliff Cox said.

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Wednesday night a vehicle from the house was pulled over on a traffic stop near Wal-Mart by Adams County Sheriff&8217;s Deputy Frank Smith and Metro&8217;s Assistant Cmdr. Kyle Wilson.

The officers found 20 bags of the drug commonly known as ice in the car driven by Anthony Shane Geoghegan. Geoghegan, 31, was detained in the Wal-Mart parking lot, and from his arrest on charges of possession with intent to distribute, officers obtained information on other dealers, officials said.

April Elizabeth Latham, 26, was found in a different vehicle in the Wal-Mart area and arrested on the same charges plus one count of possession of ecstasy with intent to distribute.

Later that night Lincoln Paul Bordelin, 43, and Dustin Paul Martin, 22, were arrested in front of K-Mart on John R. Junkin Drive. Officers found a large quantity of ice on them, Cox said.

From there officers learned all four people had left the Eastwood Road house with the drugs in their possession. They obtained a search warrant from Justice Court Judge Charlie Vess and went to the house.

Natchez Police, Metro agents and ACSO deputies executed the warrant and recovered more ice, drug paraphernalia and currency. They also arrested Joshua Neal, 25, at the house &8212; where he lived.

Two convicted felons were also in the house but were not arrested.

Their parole officers were notified.

Nothing in the house showed crystal meth was being produced there, Cox said.

&8220;This is a distribution ring we are biting into,&8221; he said. &8220;It&8217;s your basic drug ring.&8221;

Ice is the purest and most potent form of crystal methamphetamine and is more expensive. A gram of ice runs about $200, while the basic form of crystal meth is $80 to $100.

&8220;For people that have the money this is the drug of choice,&8221; Cox said. &8220;It&8217;s different in texture and in sight. It looks like shards of glass, and it&8217;s clear.&8221;

Officers from all three agencies worked about 30 straight hours to make the arrests Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.

Sheriff Ronny Brown said he considered the bust a major one.

&8220;I believe it will result in putting a big dent in drugs around here,&8221; Brown said.

Investigations are ongoing.

&8220;Drug investigations take a lot of time and surveillance,&8221; Police Chief Mike Mullins said. &8220;They are labor intensive. The business of law enforcement doing drug work is constant with open investigations going on at the same time.&8221;

Geoghegan was released on $25,000 bond Friday afternoon. Neal and Latham have a $50,000 bond; Bordelin and Martin have a $25,000 bond. All four are still in jail.