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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Crime & Courts

Narcotics agents hope to keep new ‘legal’ drug out of Oxford

Few would disagree there’s no better way to end a stressful day than by soaking in a hot bath, filled with bubbles and scented bath salts.

Unfortunately, it appears those same bath salts have become a recreational tool of another kind for some people.

Narcotic agents are becoming concerned over reports that a product, marketed as “concentrated bath salts,” is being used to get high. The main ingredient, methylenedioxypyrovalerone, is a psychoactive drug that acts like a stimulant that has four times the potency of drugs like Ritalin.

“We haven’t seen any on Oxford’s streets yet,” said Lafayette County Narcotics Agent-in-Charge Keith Davis.

The bath salts are not the usual kind you can purchase from Walmart or drug stores like Walgreen’s, Davis said.

“They are usually found at shady convenience stores and head shops and on the Internet,” he said. (November 5, 2010, Page 9A)

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    Two courts deny voting lawsuit

    The lawsuit, filed by Earl Tucker, 96, on Oct. 20, claims the state was violating his rights by placing observers in voting precincts who might require someone to present photo identification.

    On Oct. 28, U.S. District Court Judge W. Allen Pepper Jr. dismissed the suit which asked for a temporary restraining order to prohibit the observers and challenged the Mississippi Voter Identification Petition that will be appear on the November 2011 statewide ballot. The measure, if successful, would require photo identification at all voter polls in the state.

    Tucker’s attorney, Alvin O. Chambliss of Oxford, filed a motion of injunction with the Court of Appeals which denied the motion on Monday. (November 3, 2010, Page 3)

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      Bank robber still on the lam

      The Oxford Police Department is still searching for the man who robbed the Mechanics Bank on University Avenue on Tuesday morning.

      Police say a black male wearing a ski mask came into the bank at 11:37 a.m. and robbed a teller at gun point; however, no one was injured in the robbery.

      Anyone with information of the case is asked to call OPD at 232-2400. (November 3, 2010, Page 1)

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        OPD searches for bank robber

        The Oxford Police Department is searching for the suspect who robbed the Mechanics Bank at 1508 E. University Ave. at 11:37 this morning. Bank officials told police a black male wearing a ski mask came into the bank and robbed the bank at gun point, according to police. No one was injured in the robbery.

        The suspect then fled the bank on foot and reportedly got into an older model vehicle which may be either light tan or light yellow in color and possible either a GM or Ford.

        Officers recovered a gun, money and other evidence that was covered in red paint from the the “dye pack” that discharged near where the suspect’s vehicle was parked. Anyone with information of the case is asked to call the Oxford Police Department at 662-232-2400. (November 2, 2010)

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          Police: Suspects linked to several burglaries

          Four Oxford men have been arrested and charged with committing several burglaries in the city of Oxford and Lafayette County.

          On Oct. 5, a deputy responded to a burglary at a home off Old Highway 7 North, Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Scott Mills said. While the deputy was interviewing the victims, he obtained information about the suspects and their vehicle.

          A short time later, a Mississippi Highway Patrol trooper pulled over a vehicle that matched the description and searched the vehicle where he found stolen items from the burglary on Old Highway 7 North.

          Arrested were Steven Obermeier, 19, Lee Earnest Liggins, 23, Shawntez D’Angelo Draper, 19, and Corey Terrell Moody, 21, all of Oxford. (October 28, 2010, Page 2)

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            Pontotoc man challenges voter ID Petition

            Ninty-six-year-old Earl Tucker is the lead defendant in a lawsuit filed Wednesday at the U.S. District Court of North Mississippi in Oxford against Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and the state of Mississippi that challenges the Mississippi Voter Identification petition that is scheduled to appear on the November 2011 statewide ballot. The measure, if successful, would require photo identification at all voter polls in the state.

            “I thought voter intimidation had long disappeared, but I was wrong,” Tucker said in the lawsuit. “I will fight to keep my rights.” (October 22, 2010, Page 2A)

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              Businessman pleads to bank fraud charge

              Former Oxford businessman Dino Jerry Grisanti pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud Thursday in front of a federal judge.

              According to court records, in January 2006, Grisanti, operator of the now-defunct Grisanti Rebel Motors in Oxford, attempted to defraud Regions Bank by concealing he had sold 66 vehicles worth $2,985,768. (October 22, 2010, Page 2A)

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                County appeals drug court debacle

                The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors instructed county attorney David O’Donnell to file an appeal with the Mississippi Supreme Court against a final order given by a Circuit Court judge instructing them to not interfere with the operation of the county’s Drug Court.

                The one-page appeal, filed Tuesday, says the supervisors are appealing the entire Final Order filed Sept. 21 by Circuit Court Judge Andrew Howorth but doesn’t list any specific parts of the order. The appeal was filed after the board voted 3 to 2 granting O’Donnell permission to file the appeal during an executive session earlier this month. Supervisors Robert Blackmon and Mike Pickens were the dissenting votes.

                Howorth, who started Drug Court three years ago, filed a “cease and desist” in June against the supervisors from interfering with the operations of the Drug Court and the Circuit Court in general. Howorth claims the supervisors have continually interfered with the operations of the Circuit Court, almost from the day the current board took office in 2008. He also ordered the supervisors to comply with all reasonable requests made by and on behalf of the Drug Court pertaining to Drug Court funds administered by Lafayette County. (October 21, 2010, Page 1)

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                  Stiffer charges sought for drug dealers

                  Lafayette County Metro Narcotics Unit’s Keith Davis, and the other investigators at Metro, are pushing adding “enhancement charges” to regular drug dealing charges. Enhancement charges include, selling drugs within 1,500 of a school or church or child endangerment, for selling drugs when a child is present.

                  An enhancement charge does just that — it enhances the sentence of the defendant if found guilty. Under state law, selling drugs within 1,500 feet of a church or school allows a judge to double the penalty.

                  Several suspects charged with dealing drugs were indicted during the September grand jury and have been given enhancement charges along with being indicted with selling drugs.

                  See these and other indictments handed down by the grand jury in today’s EAGLE. (October 20, 2010, Page 1)

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                    Court Briefs

                    Judge closes lawsuit against county

                    A lawsuit against former and current county officials claiming they railroaded former insurance agent Ken Nowlin into pleading guilty to crimes he didn’t commit, has been closed by a federal judge.

                    U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Aycock found in favor of the defendants and ordered the case closed.

                    UM former employee pleads

                    Ben Willians, a former employee of the University of Mississippi, pleaded guilty Friday for stealing more than $67,000 while working in the Dean of Students office, according to the indictment. He was sentenced to three years of unsupervised probation. (October 13, 2010, Page 2)

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