JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The Jones County Sheriff's Department made a significant narcotics arrest and recovery in an ongoing investigation of a large drug trafficking organization.
Deputies arrested Jermaine Antonio "Tony" Newell on during a Nov. 15 traffic stop on Highway 28, just west of Soso. From the traffic stop and search of several residences, investigators recovered over two pounds of heroin, approximately 220 pounds of high-grade marijuana, over 100 ecstasy pills and other pills that are being tested for identification, according to a sheriff's department press release.
The street values of the drugs are estimated to be $200,000 worth of heroin, $700,000 worth of marijuana and $1,000 worth in ecstasy pills. Other items used to manufacture pills, marijuana and several thousand dollars in cash were also recovered.
According to the sheriff's department, Newell owns several properties in Jones County and the Gulf Coast, and he was currently out on bond for a drug trafficking charge that he was previously arrested for in Georgia.
"Tony Newell and other members of this DTO are responsible for supplying much of the methamphetamine, marijuana and heroin that is sold in Jones County and the surrounding area," Sheriff Alex Hodge said. "Immediately after the arrest last week we began hearing reports that some dealers were having trouble finding drugs to supply customers."
An associate of Newell, Ruebean Garner, of Ellisville, was sentenced to serve four years in Jones County Circuit Court last month for sale of methamphetamine and has other drug charges pending with in Jones County, according to the press release.
Newell made his initial appearance in Federal Court in Hattiesburg on Nov. 17 and was denied bond.
The Sheriff's Department released this statement regarding drug busts in the county:
"Both of these investigations involved large DTO's (drug trafficking operations) with people in several jurisdictions," Hodge said. "The illegal drug business is very complex and changes from day to day. We are happy when we disrupt the drug trade by catching the ones bringing large amounts to our area from other states and countries."
The Ellisville Police Department, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, MS Gulf Coast HIDTA Task Force and Hattiesburg HIDTA Task Force also participated in these investigations.