Jackson County

FBI agents raid Lovelace Drugs in Ocean Springs

Federal agents armed with search warrants raided Lovelace Drugs in downtown Ocean Springs on Thursday morning.

About 30 local, state and federal officers participated in the 9:30 a.m. search at the popular store and soda fountain on Washington Avenue.

FBI agents are heading up the investigation.

“The FBI is here for law enforcement purposes authorized by federal court,” said FBI spokesperson Brett Carr. No other information was provided.

When reached by phone, owner Clark Levi said “I don’t know anything, we are trying to find out like you are,” before he hung up.

The store is temporarily closed while authorities finish up the search. However, Carr said, it is expected to reopen Friday.

The pharmacy portion of the store closed in 2014 when CVS bought Fred’s Pharmacy chain, which had been operating there under the Lovelace store name. It stayed open as a Fred’s without the pharmacy until November 2016.

The pharmacy reopened in 2018 after being closed for renovations. Levi owns the building and is a pharmacist, and Joey Krystosek has been the manager.

Calls to the store are answered with a recording that mentions the store also was formerly known as Gardens Pharmacy.

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Margaret Baker is an investigative reporter whose search for truth exposed corrupt sheriffs, a police chief and various jailers and led to the first prosecution of a federal hate crime for the murder of a transgendered person. She worked on the Sun Herald’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Hurricane Katrina team. When she pursues a big story, she is relentless.