Suspects arrested after scattering drugs during high speed chase

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, July 25, 2012

NATCHEZ — Pursuit of a maroon Oldsmobile at speeds up to 110 mph Tuesday afternoon ended with a trail of crack cocaine from the county line to Fayette, the busted front of a Metro Narcotics sedan and two men in handcuffs.

By the end of the 10-minute car chase, which started at 1:57 p.m. and ended in Jefferson County at 2:07 p.m., driver Tyrone Hoggatt reportedly slowed to a stop when faced with a roadblock of law enforcement vehicles at the intersection of U.S. 61 North and Mississippi 33, Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said.

Before Hoggatt stopped, he reportedly lost control a quarter mile before the roadblock, spun several times, nearly flipping the Oldsmobile Alero he was driving and collided with a Dodge Charger that was carrying Metro Narcotics Commander David Lindsey, Lindsey said.

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After hitting Lindsey’s car, Hoggatt drove another quarter mile, Lindsey estimated, with a flat tire on the front driver’s side.

“He was driving crazy — driving all over the road and dumping dope at the same time,” Lindsey said.

Hoggatt reportedly refused to make a statement upon his arrest for the following charges:

• Failure to yield to blue lights

•  Felony fleeing or eluding a law enforcement officer

• Reckless driving

• Aggravated assault, which Mayfield said Hoggatt was charged with for striking Lindsey’s vehicle with his car

• Destroying county property — the Dodge Charger

• Possession with intent to distribute marijuana

•  Possession with intent to distribute cocaine

Mayfield said his office and Metro have been investigating Hoggatt, 40, 2-B Saragossa Road, for weeks. Officers attempted to pull him over on U.S. 61 North because they had information that he was transporting cocaine at that time to Jefferson County.

“(Hoggatt) was the head of the snake, I guess you could say,” Mayfield said, referring to a drug operation. “He was a top guy in this group.”

Also in the Alero with Hoggatt was Tyrone White, 20, 19-A Ingram Circle, who was arrested for false information or identification, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. The false information charge was related to a Monday incident involving a stolen ATV.

The initial attempt to pull over Hoggatt occurred near Tractor Supply on U.S. 61 near the intersection of U.S. 84, where the high-speed chase began.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Mississippi Highway Patrol and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and both agencies aided in setting up the roadblock.

The men were charged in Adams County because the chase began there, Mayfield said.

As Hoggatt began dropping something out of his window, one of a number of law enforcement vehicles pursing him pulled over to retrieve it, which Mayfield said turned out to be what he described as 10 grams of a freshly cooked crack cocaine ball. Also recovered from the street was 3 grams of marijuana.

As many as four cars pursued the Alero at one time, Lindsey said.

Officers also went back to other places they believed Hoggatt dropped drugs, but Mayfield said they likely missed some of what was allegedly thrown out the window.

Officers found a small amount of cocaine in crack form in the car with Hoggatt and White, as well as packaging material such as plastic bags. Also seized from the car was $800 in cash.

Hoggatt’s criminal record in Adams County dates back to 1992 with a charge of possession of cocaine.

“This guy has been a menace for years and years and years,” Mayfield said of Hoggatt.

Earlier charges include sale of cocaine in 1994, possession of a controlled substance (from the Natchez Police Department) in 1997 and three counts of sale of cocaine in church and school zones in 1999. In 2000, Hoggatt was sentenced to serve 10 years of prison time with 10 more years suspended. But he was arrested on a probation violation in 2009 for failure to pay a fine, before the 10 years was up.

In April 2010, Hoggatt was discharged from post-release supervision, and twice in May of the same year he was arrested for sale of marijuana — one of the charges was in a church zone. In June 2010, Hoggatt was arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of Lorcet with intent to distribute, as well as a suspended driver’s license. He was arrested in September 2010, for possession of Xanax with intent to distribute and felony possession of promethazine with codeine with intent to distribute. In December 2010, he was arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, felony flight, expired tag and no seat belt. In July 2011, he was arrested for possession of codeine.

On Sept. 6, 2011, Hoggatt pleaded guilty to count 1 of a reduced charge of simple possession of marijuana with count 2 dismissed, and his sentencing was delayed.

On Sept. 26, 2011, Hoggatt pleaded guilty to felony possession of marijuana, which was reduced from possession of marijuana with intent to sell. Judge Lillie Blackmon Sanders sentenced him at that time to serve one day in jail with eight years suspended and five years of probation.

Hoggatt was arrested again Oct. 4, 2011, on a bench warrant for failure to pay fines and was released six days later on Oct. 11.

Hoggatt was arrested in January 2012, on an indictment for the 2011 charge of felony possession of codeine, and the Adams County district attorney’s office retired the charge to files.

Information about Hoggatt’s record was provided by information from the Adams County Sheriff’s Office.

“He has had more charges retired to the files than he’s been convicted of,” Mayfield said.

Hoggatt was also the alleged victim of an assault on Nov. 4, 2011, in which he was reportedly shot in the head. Mayfield said deputies chased rumors at the time relating to the incident because Hoggatt initially told doctors he fell off a horse and remained uncooperative with law enforcement. Hoggatt eventually testified about the shooting in February, saying he didn’t realize he was shot until doctors told him, and the charges against suspects Lorenzo Green, 20, and Corey Taylor, 23, were dismissed without prejudice — or nolle prosequi.

“We believe (Hoggatt) was shot in a drug rip off,” Mayfield said.

Mayfield said his office is still investigating additional people relating to Hoggatt’s arrest.