3 plead not guilty in 'buckets' of meth case

Chiquita Acker
Chiquita Acker

GULFPORT -- Two men and a woman indicted on meth-trafficking charges pleaded not guilty Thursday in the seizure of crystal meth and buckets of wastewater said to contain meth flushed down a toilet.

Tosh Humphrey, Roy Lee Tatum and Chiquita Acker entered their pleas Thursday in U.S. District Court.

A federal grand jury indicted them May 3.

The three face charges of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute meth. Each charge is punishable by 10 years to life in prison.

Humphrey, 36, is from Slidell. Tatum, of Palestine, Texas, and Acker, of Pearlington, are each 40.

They are held with no bond.

Federal agents did not know their names when they began investigating a tip that a meth supplier was coming to the Biloxi Black Beach Weekend on April 8, according to testimony. A source had heard a man known as Bugga was bringing 3 pounds of meth to sell, according to Homeland Security Investigations agents.

Agents said they learned Bugga is Humphrey, Tatum also was bringing meth, and they planned to stay at Acker's home.

Humphrey and Tatum were inside Acker's home when federal agents said they heard a toilet flushing as the agents tried to get in the front door. One agent broke off a drain pipe and collected five 3-gallon buckets of wastewater. The water, a document said, tested positive for the presence of meth.

Other agents had followed Acker to the Flying J Travel Plaza in Gulfport, where they'd heard she planned to deliver meth to a buyer. She had 2 pounds of meth in a shoe box in the trunk of her car, agents said.

Thursday, the three stood together in court, each flanked by an attorney, and were told they are set for trial July 15. If they want to change their pleas, they must notify the court in writing before June 14.