Drug ring suspects still in jail

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

BOONEVILLE – Five suspects remained in Prentiss County Jail on Monday after their arrest last week in a drug bust that netted about 430 pounds of marijuana.
In addition to the drugs – with a street value of as much as $750,000 – several vehicles, other assets and bank accounts totaling more than $100,000 were seized, said Prentiss County Sheriff Randy Tolar.
Arrested in the Thursday raid were Jimmy Wade Lauderdale, 74, owner of the property at 343 C.R. 8021, Rienzi, where the drugs were seized; David Harold Spencer, 68, of Sears, Mich.; Harry R. Lewis, 71, of Hiram, Ga.; and Kevin Douglas Cole, 60, of Evart, Mich.
Also arrested in a traffic stop by the Corinth Police Department was Jose Gonzalez, 58, of Marion, Ark., who is suspected of transporting the drugs from a western state. All of the men have been charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.
“This was a big deal and I was proud things came together the way they did,” Tolar said.
The joint operation with the Alcorn County Sheriff’s Office began about six months ago, said Alcorn County Sheriff Charles Rinehart.
“It originated from Alcorn County and we gave the Prentiss County sheriff a call,” Rinehart said. “It was a long, cooperative effort, and the waiting game is probably the hardest part – being patient – but it did pay off.”
Bond for Lauderdale has been set at $750,000, and for Spencer, Lewis and Cole at $500,000 each, Tolar said. No bond has been set for Gonzalez, who refused to sign a form for initial court appearance.
The ongoing investigation includes the North Mississippi Narcotics Unit, and more arrests may be forthcoming.
lena.mitchell@journalinc.com