HANCOCK COUNTY -- A narcotics official said investigation of complaints involving crystal meth sales has led to 12 arrests in traffic stops and searches, and two of those arrested tried to get rid of the evidence.
The Hancock County Narcotics Division made the arrests throughout the day Tuesday, Cmdr. Jeremy Skinner said.
The arrests included raids of homes in Bay St. Louis and the Springwood community.
"What our investigation showed is these people were distributing ice out of homes," he said.
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Ice is the purest form of meth. The drug was found in homes searched and in traffic stops, he said.
Bessie Russo, 62, was flushing meth down the toilet when officers raided her Bay home in the 10100 block of Tigris Street, Skinner said. She was arrested along with three others at the home.
She faces charges of possession of meth and destruction of evidence.
Eugene Davis, 32, was arrested on charges of possession of meth and resisting arrest. Valarie Warren, 34, and Tommy Smith, 33, were arrested on a meth-possession charge.
Just before the raid, officers arrested a woman and two men in a traffic stop.
Ty Ladner, 19, threw meth out a car window before his arrest, Skinner said.
Ladner faces charges of possession of meth and tampering with evidence.
Ila Boswell, 44, faces a meth-possession charge. Katie Garcia, 32, faces two counts.
Meth in Springwood
Residents of adjacent mobile homes in the Springwood community also were arrested.
Colin Celino, 54, and Richard Peneguy, 53, are neighbors on property in the 9000 block of Orange Street, Skinner said.
Celino was arrested on charges of possession with intent to distribute meth and possession of paraphernalia.
Richard Peneguy faces a charge of meth possession.
A traffic stop before that raid led to three other arrests.
William Eckerfield, 32; Sean Peneguy, 43; and Rodney Brown, 26, each face charges of possession with intent to distribute meth and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Skinner said the investigation was the result of separate complaints received last week.
Sheriff Ricky Adam, in a written statement, said, "We will continue to pursue all leads from the community and our narcotics division is committed to working endlessly to rid our county of those insistent upon distributing illegal narcotics.