Crystal meth found in cattle truck

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 1, 2002

[07/01/02]About 30 ounces of crystal methamphetamine smuggled into Warren County under piles of cattle manure was seized in a multiple-agency drug case that culminated Friday at a south Vicksburg motel.

Three people were arrested. John Fred Patterson, 52, of Forney, Texas, is accused of bringing the drug into Warren County in a cattle trailer, Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said. He was arrested about 11 p.m., and was to make an initial appearance before a federal magistrate today in Jackson, Pace said.

Two women, Amanda Chunn, 28, 120 Conestoga Road, Ridgeland, and Brandi Crisler, 26, 600 Northpointe Parkway, Jackson, were in the motel room and were also arrested. While charges could be modified as the investigation progresses, they were likely to be charged in state court with possession of the drug, sources said.

The drug had a street value of about $100,000, said Charlie Brown Jr., state U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency assistant special agent in charge.

Pace said several agencies, including the DEA, were involved in the investigation.

“We had a surveillance team in place and observed and waited for (Patterson) to offload a package from the vehicle and enter a motel room, at which time the arrest team moved in,” Pace said. The arrest team included two people from the DEA, Warren County sheriff’s deputies Jeff Crevitt, Billy Joe Heggins, Mike Traxler and Pace, the sheriff said.

“The suspect was taken into custody without incident, along with an estimated two-and-a-half pounds of high-grade crystal methamphetamine,” Pace said, adding that the Peterbilt cattle trailer used to transport the drug was impounded.

Patterson was reportedly inbound from Texas, Pace said, but the sheriff would not comment on whether this was his final destination.

“This is a significant arrest and seizure,” Pace said. “The methamphetamine was extremely high-grade, and very potent. A violator that is capable of distributing that much weight is a major violator.”

The drug was individually wrapped and heat-sealed in packages, about 14 of them weighing as much as two ounces each, Brown said.

“Most of the time when crystal meth is sold individually, it’s sold in grams,” Pace said.

Brown said the penalty for people convicted of the charge is a prison sentence of from 10 years to life in prison.

“Agents from various jurisdictions had been surveilling the individual, and the surveillance team led to the arrival at the motel,” Pace said.