Arrests made in lengthy, joint drug investigation

Jeffrey Southern, 50, of Quitman, and James Pittman, Jr., 40, of West Monroe, were taken into custody in Webster Parish Saturday with over 3.3 pounds of methamphetamine. 

The arrests stemmed from a long-term investigation by the Lincoln Parish Narcotics Enforcement Team and other agencies.

Both Southern and Pittman were charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Southern faces an additional charge of aggravated flight from an officer. 

Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker said initially the men were stopped on Interstate 20 near mile marker 49 in Webster Parish around 12:20 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

“We had been contacted by a DEA agent to be on the look out for the vehicle traveling east on I-20,” Parker said. “The vehicle was said to be carrying a large amount of drugs.”

Parker said WPSO Sgt. Shane Garner and Deputy James Rowland reported Pittman as the driver of the vehicle and knew he was driving under suspension.

“While we were trying to arrest Pittman, Southern, a passenger in the vehicle, jumped into the driver’s seat and took off,” said the sheriff. “A short pursuit followed, and he was taken into custody at Stuckey Road and Solomon Cemetery Road.”

Pittman and Southern are currently housed at Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center.

Lincoln Parish authorities were notified of the arrests. Sheriff Williams expressed his gratitude to all the dedicated officers and agencies involved in this investigation and subsequent arrests. In a Facebook post, Williams said, “These arrests would not have been possible without the support of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office.”  

Federal charges will be pursued also, according to Sheriff Parker.

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