A series of pharmacy burglaries began with a disguised person using a sledge hammer to break in at Long Beach Pharmacy and “low crawling” to a cabinet to steal prescription drugs.
Two other unusual drug store break-ins occurred before DEA Task Force agents and Ocean Springs police discovered a fourth break-in Tuesday. Biloxi police stopped a black Dodge Durango with a Louisiana tag, leading to the arrests of three men from Baton Rouge.
The men stole drugs from the four pharmacies over an eight-week period, a DEA Task Force agent wrote in a criminal complaint filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court.
The agent identified them as Shundrake McKeel, 26; Justin McKeel, 37; and Lamarvin Haynes.
The drugs stolen are Schedule II drugs, which the DEA considers highly addictive — the painkillers oxycodone, hydrocodone, tapentadol and methadone, and dextoamphetamine. The latter’s a stimulant and methadone treats withdrawal symptoms.
A hole in the wall
Video surveillance at Long Beach Pharmacy shows a person spent more than 30 minutes busting a hole in a back wall on Aug. 21, the agent said. The person, covered by clothing from head to toe, left the store at 1:10 am. and ran to a vehicle.
Two or more persons, also covered from head to toe, peeled off the metal on a building to burglarize the Family Drug Mart in Pearl River on Sept. 5.
The Task Force began looking at similarities in pharmacy break-ins and soon learned of another.
Burglars used a sledge hammer to smash in the brick wall at County Discount Pharmacy in Wiggins on Sept. 27.
And the burglary of Coastal Pharmacy in Ocean Springs was reported about 4:33 a.m. Tueseday.
A Biloxi traffic stop
Agents had identified Shundrake McKeel as a suspect, the agent wrote, and learned he drove a black Durango with a Louisiana license plate.
Biloxi police stopped a matching vehicle after the Ocean Springs burglary. Shundrake McKeel got out of the Durango with a white plastic bag of drugs and ran, but police arrested him and the others, the agent said.
Haynes reportedly said he had no knowledge of a crime. Shundrake McKeel said he wouldn’t talk without an attorney. Justin McKeel said he was just riding with them.
They are held pending court action.