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Drug bust nets six arrests in Miss-Lou

NATCHEZ — A multi-agency drug investigation resulted in six arrests in the Miss-Lou on Thursday night and two others, one from Dallas and one from California, Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said Monday.

The drug operation, Patten said, is part of an ongoing investigation begun after the arrest of Kevin Singleton on March 2, in Natchez.

Singleton was charged with distributing and trafficking large quantities of drugs after more than $1.1 million in cash and a cache of narcotics were seized in his residence.

His case is set for trial 9 a.m., Oct. 15, in the United States District Court in Natchez, 109 Pearl St. Since Singleton’s arrest, the investigation has netted $2.8 million worth of drugs, Patten said, that have been seized, keeping them off the streets of Natchez and the Miss-Lou.

In the early morning hours Thursday, Patten said, Adams County Special Operations Group agents with agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Marshals Task Force arrested Wesley Bell, Lauvel Cortez Whirl, Bruce Johnson and Larry Hardin, all of Adams County and Gregory Woodard of Wilkinson County and Jerry White of Amite County.

Patten said the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.

As of March 2, agents had seized approximately 27 kilograms of cocaine, 5 ounces of ecstasy, 29 pounds of methamphetamine, 6 pounds of heroin and $1.1 million cash, Patten said.

“Maj. Shane Daugherty came to me in late 2016 and told me that they had credible information about a major drug operation going on in Adams County, but in order to work the case more resources were needed,” Patten said.

Based on Daugherty’s advice the office enlisted the help of other agencies.

“I cannot get into the specifics of the case because it is still ongoing, and we are hoping there will be more people arrested in the near future,” Patten said. “I want to thank every officer involved. I know the hours that these officers have put into surveillance and the sacrifices they have had to make during the investigation. … I promised the citizens in 2015 that they would see an increase in collaboration between ACSO and other agencies. This is a prime example of what I meant with that statement then coming to fruition now.”

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