Crime

Police find ‘party supplies’ bound for Gulfport — 109 pounds of pot

To the dismay of some spring breakers, Gulfport police have intercepted 109 pounds of marijuana intended for sale this weekend, Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania said Friday.

The arrest was the result of a stop on a traffic violation Thursday night on Interstate 10, he said.

Keandre Deair Marks, 35, of Gulfport, was arrested on I-10 near the 33-mile marker. He was headed east, nearing exit 34 to U.S. 49, when a traffic stop raised suspicions that led to the discovery of marijuana in his pickup truck, Papania said.

The street value of the marijuana is about $200,000, he said.

Biloxi Black Beach Weekend runs through Saturday night. Revelers typically visit other areas of the Mississippi Coast, including Gulfport. Thousands of visitors and locals are expected, with most to show up by Saturday morning.

“Much to the dismay of some of our spring breakers, we interdicted some party supplies destined for Gulfport with our highway interdiction unit yesterday,” Papania said. “It was destined for Gulfport for the purpose of being sold at spring break.

“While we’re excited about spring break — we’ve got gorgeous weather, and we’re expecting a good week — it’s this kind of stuff that puts a negative impact on what should be a really good event. We don’t believe it reflects on everybody involved in spring break, but that is a lot of marijuana for one weekend.”

Marks was booked at the Harrison County jail. He was being held on a $25,000 bond.

Papania said it shows the importance of what goes on across I-10, which is known to be a major corridor for drug runners.

“A lot of times, people say that doesn’t impact us locally,” he said. “It does. One hundred pounds of marijuana was coming to our Coast for the weekend.”

Papania announced the bust at First Baptist Church of Gulfport just before the start of a National Crime Victims Rights Week candlelight ceremonyr.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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