Hampton Inn raid leads to drug bust

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 13, 2008

NATCHEZ — Acting on a tip, the Metro Narcotics Unit was able to conduct a bust at a local hotel that netted nearly one pound of marijuana.

Metro Narcotics Commander Cliff Cox said the staff at the Hampton Inn provided the original tip that led to the bust.

Cox said investigators were able to obtain warrants for two adjoining rooms at the hotel and conducted their raid on Tuesday afternoon.

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That raid led to the seizure of three quarters of a pound of marijuana and the arrest of two men from Houston.

Matthew Hester, 26, and Joshua D. Keb, 25, were arrested and charged with felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Cox said approximately one ounce of the marijuana was of the high-grade hydroponic variety.

“It’s real stout stuff,” he said.

He placed the value of the more potent marijuana at approximately $300-$400.

Cox said the total value of all the marijuana likely was more than $1,000.

But Cox said the bust probably would not have happened without the cooperation of the hotel’s staff.

And the hotel General Manager Rhonda Stevens said she was happy her staff was able to help.

“We will not tolerate that type of behavior in our hotel,” Stevens said.

Stevens said both of the men — in town on local construction jobs — had been staying at the hotel periodically for the past few months.

However, it was not until their most recent visit that the staff noticed “strong odors,” coming from their rooms.

“We were very quickly aware that something was wrong,” Stevens said.

Both Keb and Hester are being held without bond at the Adams County Jail.

Cox said both arrests went smoothly and were without incident.