Stolen vehicle leads to six arrests in connection with alleged drug trafficking organization
Coast and federal law enforcement agencies banded together on a five-month operation that culminated Wednesday with six arrests in connection with an alleged drug trafficking operation.
According to Biloxi Police, investigators with the Biloxi Police Department’s Special Crimes Unit, the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department’s Narcotics Unit, the Ocean Springs Police Department, the D’Iberville Police Department, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, the US Marshals, the FBI, and the DEA conducted numerous search warrants on Wednesday resulting in arrests at residences throughout Harrison and Jackson counties as part of Operation Fast Pass.
The investigation began in January when a Biloxi officer found a stolen Cadillac Escalade at a residence on East Drive. While processing the stolen vehicle, the officer found about two pounds of methamphetamine and four pounds of marijuana.
Evidence recovered from the stolen car helped officers identify an alleged drug trafficking organization that was bringing large quantities of marijuana and methamphetamine to the Coast from the Los Angeles region.
Larry Darnell Laster was identified as the suspected head of the organization. Agents from the United States Postal Inspection Service assisted the Biloxi Police with the initial stages of the investigation.
As the investigation continued, suspects and residences in Biloxi, D’Iberville and Ocean Springs were linked to the operation.
On Tuesday, multiple law enforcement agencies executed search warrants and arrest warrants at various locations in Harrison and Jackson County.
As a result, officials seized 22 pounds of methamphetamine, seven pounds of marijuana, seven firearms, and two stolen motor vehicles with falsified vehicle identification numbers.
The following subjects were arrested for their alleged involvement in the operation:
- Larry Darnell “Gucci” Laster, 36 of Biloxi and Ocean Springs, MS, was charged by Biloxi Police Department with aggravated trafficking of methamphetamine, trafficking of marijuana, possession of a stolen vehicle, felony eluding and money laundering. Laster was charged by the Ocean Springs Police with possession of a firearm by a felon. Laster also was on parole for drug related offenses at the time of his arrest and the Mississippi Department of Corrections placed a hold on him. Harrison County Justice Court Judge Albert Fountain set a total bond of $550,000 for the charges in Harrison County.
- Candace Maria Phillips, 38 of Biloxi and Ocean Springs, was charged by Biloxi Police with money laundering. Harrison County Justice Court Judge Albert Fountain set a $100,000 bond.
- Kelvin Lee “Twin” Monroe, 31 of Biloxi, was charged by Biloxi Police with felony eluding in a vehicle, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, possession of a weapon by a felon and tampering with physical evidence. Harrison County Justice Court Judge Albert Fountain set a $175,000 bond.
- Jonathan Dixon “Jones” Colley, 34 of D’Iberville, was charged by D’Iberville Police with possession of a weapon by a felon. Harrison County Justice Court Judge Albert Fountain set a $50,000 bond.
- Tristan Demar “Ooze” Payton, 36 of Biloxi, was charged by Biloxi Police with possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. Harrison County Justice Court Judge Albert Fountain set a $25,000 bond.
- Zarek Yakez “Ziggy” Tyler, 30 of Biloxi, was charged by Biloxi Police with possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute and possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. Harrison County Justice Court Judge Albert Fountain set a $125,000 bond.