Verona  overwhelmed by criminal activity, drugs

A recent drug bust in Verona includes confiscated guns, cash, marijuana, methamphetamine, Ecstasy, cocaine and Ice.

Calling it a “Walmart of drugs,” Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson announced Monday the arrest of one suspected drug dealer and the search for another. A search warrant was served at 111 Mary Ann Street in Verona on Friday, July 27. According to Johnson’s press release and information at a Monday press conference, Jarmesha McGaughy, 25, was arrested at the residence on charges of drug trafficking. Another suspect, Joseph Fields, 27, is being sought in connection with the drug sales. Seized at the home were more than a pound of methamphetamine, 200 grams of cocaine and more than 500 tablets of Ecstasy, as well as what is suspected to be Ice. (Ecstasy is a psychoactive drug while Ice is a stronger version of methamphetamine.) Agents, including members of the North Mississippi Narcotics Unit, also seized about $12,000 in suspected drug proceeds. Two 9mm semiautomatic pistols were also seized. “We have been monitoring this house for several months,” said Johnson, who added that Verona seems to be experiencing an upsurge in drug activity and other crimes. He said it is not the same town he grew up in. Asked if the Verona Police Department is overwhelmed or understaffed, Johnson said, “We are overwhelmed,” referring to the criminal activity in the town. Since the house is located within 1,500 feet of Verona Elementary School and even closer to a daycare facility, charges against McGaughy and Fields will likely be enhanced, which usually results in doubling of the penalties. Johnson said Fields is already on probation; an attorney has contacted the sheriff’s department regarding Fields turning himself in to authorities.

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