Crime

Couple arrested at Gulfport home in Spice dealing

Cassandra Hamilton, left and Don Coleman
Cassandra Hamilton, left and Don Coleman

A couple arrested during a search of a home Wednesday are suspected of dealing in synthetic cannabinoids, also known as Spice.

Police arrested Cassandra Chare Hamilton, 26, and Don Coleman, 25, Wednesday at a home in the 1000 block of 43rd Avenue, police Sgt. Joshua Bromen said.

They each face a charge of possession with intent to distribute Spice.

Both were jailed at the Harrison County jail and held on bonds of $10,000 each.

Items seized from the home have been sent to a crime lab, Bromen said.

Spice-dealing arrests aren’t as common on the Mississippi Coast as they had been a few years ago.

“A lot of times, you can nip it in the bud before people go from having a small amount of Spice to Selling spice and then moving up the chain to harder drugs,” Bromen said. “But even with Spice, they don’t know what they’re selling or what’s in it and that’s the problem.”

Synthetic cannabinoids are often mistakenly called fake marijuana. The drug typically is a mixture of shredded plant material sprayed with mind-altering chemicals, according to the DEA. Some chemicals used to make it have been banned. Spice can lead to unpredictable side effects that can be severe, life-threatening or fatal, the DEA said.

In one of the region’s latest Spice-related arrests, a woman faces a felony DUI trial after Gulfport police said she was impaired by Spice when they pulled her over March 21. She had a child in the car and was lethargic, police said.

In March, an Ocean Springs man was sentenced to prison for two years and fined $5,000 for his role in a conspiracy to distribute Spice. Federal agents had worn protective clothing and breathing devices when they searched his home in April 2015.

And a trial is pending in the Spice-related killing of a Gulfport woman also in April 2015. Police have said the woman was killed by bullets fired into her home. The bullets were intended for her son, who reportedly had stiffed a man for money on a Spice deal, police have said. Officials have said it’s believed to be the region’s first Spice-related killing, or at least in Harrison County.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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