Coast man who sold drugs out of barbecue business mistakenly released from jail, officials say

Carl Alexander May
Carl Alexander May

A Gautier man held on a federal drug charges is accused of selling 600 pounds of marijuana and 17 kilos of heroin, mostly out of his barbecue business, over a three-year period, a federal agent said this week.

Carl Alexander May, 55, was arrested after he sold heroin to a confidential informant six times, four of which occurred at his business, Big Daddy’s Smokehouse, on Martin Bluff Road, Mike Hines, an agent with the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, said Tuesday.

After May’s arrest, Hines said, he told authorities he had been selling a large amount of heroin and marijuana for years and bought the drugs mostly from a source in Louisiana, along with a couple of others in Jackson County and elsewhere in Mississippi.

May identified the sources for authorities, Hines said.

After May’s arrest last week on the federal drug charge, he was jailed in Harrison County and was supposed to remain in custody pending a detention hearing.

However, Judge Roger Clark said at Tuesday’s hearing that he understood May had been “erroneously” released from custody.

Prosecutors confirmed the error.

May got out of the Harrison County jail over the weekend when the state Department of Corrections ordered his release because he had finished serving time for a probation violation.

May voluntarily showed for his court hearing in federal court, but Clark still denied him bond.

The judge pointed out May had a drug problem, a pending state charge in Harrison County and could go to prison for life if convicted of the federal offense.

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.