Chase ends in drug bust

Published 4:47 pm Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Natchez man reportedly led law enforcement officers on a chase before he was arrested on charges of possession of more than 12 pounds of marijuana Friday.

A Natchez Police officer tried to stop Andrae D. Hammond, 32, for a traffic violation early Friday afternoon, Metro Narcotics Cmdr. Cliff Cox said.

Hammond didn’t stop, Cox said, and officers chased Hammond from the intersection of Union and Elm streets to a dead end behind the Head Start School, Cox said.

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“Then, he ran his car off into a bayou,” Cox said. “He was trying to get away.”

Hammond allegedly got out of his car, carrying a plastic garbage bag full of marijuana. After a short distance, it broke, spilling the drugs. Officers also found several bags of marijuana in Hammond’s car, Cox said.

Adams County Sheriff’s deputies and Metro officers were called in to help. A Natchez Police officer and canine police dog tracked down Hammond.

“He got in a creek and ran along it and across a few fields,” Cox said.

Officers eventually found Hammond in a creek behind the city cemetery an hour later.

Hammond, 32, 100 Canal St., was arrested on charges of felony fleeing from police, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, driving without a tag, failure to stop and disregarding traffic.

He was released on $50,000 bond.

Metro officers seized more than 12 pounds of marijuana — with a street value of $19,420 — and $3,527 in cash when they arrested Hammond, Cox said.

“That’s a lot of dope,” Cox said. “That’s indicative of selling.”

Friday’s seizure was the largest single amount of marijuana Metro has collected this year, he said.

That amount of marijuana was good to get off the streets, Cox said.

“When you start dealing with about $20,000 worth of dope, that’s a pretty big blow to the drugs here in Natchez,” he said.