Agents hoped to seize drugs at Coast man's house. Then they found 10 pit bulls.

Eric Jerome Ellis
Eric Jerome Ellis

Narcotics agents say a D'Iberville man fled from officers in a 35-mph pursuit, leading them to the police department.

Agents with the Coastal Narcotics Enforcement Team had searched the home where Eric Jerome Ellis lives with his mother a month ago. Ellis wasn't there when agents found two pounds of marijuana, or nearly 2 kilos, CNET Cmdr. Ryan Hearn said.

Having 30 grams or more of pot, more than an ounce, is a felony. Two pounds is nearly one kilo, and is an amount that indicates drug distribution, Hearn said.

Agents also found dogs, and lots of them. There were nine in the yard and one in the house. The pit bull terriers belong to Ellis, not his mother, Police Capt. Shannon Nobles said.

Narcotics agents had an arrest warrant for Ellis when they parked near his home on Tuesday. As soon as 34-year-old Ellis drove off, agents signaled him to stop, but he kept driving until he reached the police department, Hearn said.

Agents arrested him on a charge of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Police arrested him on 10 counts of animal neglect and five counts of violating an animal control ordinance on the number of dogs in a yard. They also arrested him on other misdemeanor charges — possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana in a vehicle and failure to stop when an officer signals.

The dogs have not been taken, Nobles said.

When police first went to the home, they reported finding only one water bowl for nine dogs and no food. Animal control officers are stopping by to check on the dogs until a hearing on May 14 in D'Iberville Municipal Court. Nobles said the officers are checking to make sure the dogs have adequate food, water and shelter.

"Mr. Ellis will either have to give some of the dogs away or keep them inside," Nobles said.

Ellis' bond on the felony is $100,000, but he isn't eligible to post bail. He's being held on a probation warrant from the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Ellis has been on supervision on a drug possession conviction, the Harrison County jail docket shows.

The felony drug charge will be prosecuted in Harrison County Circuit Court.

Robin Fitzgerald, 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews