A winding, back-roads chase involving the Columbus-Lowndes Metro Narcotics Unit ended with a local alleged drug dealer behind bars and a kilo of cocaine off the streets.
Larry Jones, Jr., a.k.a. “Fruit”, 33, of 198 Gregory Road, led the narcotics agents and Lowndes County sheriff’s deputies on a chase that began at Jones’s residence and ended in August Landing.
According to Jones’s sister, Mary Lee, she met Jones at his Gregory Road home to drop off his lunch. Lee states that she and Jones’s other sister, Stephanie, were waiting on Jones in the driveway with one of his favorite meals, a double cheeseburger with no mayonnaise and extra pickle from the Pit and Cone. Lee says Jones pulled up and she leaned through the window to hand her brother his food and then an unmarked vehicle pulled up and an agent with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics got out of the car. Lee asked Jones, “Who’s that?” to which Jones replied “The police!”
Lee said she jumped back from the car and Jones sped out of the driveway. When he left the home on Gregory Rd., Jones turned left onto Chandler, heading towards Hwy. 69. Metro Narcotics Commander Bobby Grimes was driving down Chandler, heading toward Gregory Rd. when Jones sped past him going the opposite direction. Grimes quickly turned around, chasing Jones with Agent Archie Williams and the MBN agent close behind.
Grimes radioed for backup and gave the description of the vehicle as a white Honda Accord with an MUW tag. Grimes followed Jones down Hwy 69 and warned 911 dispatchers that he may be heading for Pickens County when he lost sight of the subject. Lowndes County Sheriff’s Deputies swarmed the area, checking down South Pickensville Rd, Frisco Rd. and Canfield Rd.
Williams radioed in that he was heading down to the August Landing area and the MBN agent and Deputies Paul Greggs and Eric Granderson followed suit.
Greggs was driving his cruiser past August Landing Rd. when he noticed an older gentleman standing in the front yard, looking towards the road. Greggs pulled into the driveway to question the man and noticed Jones’s white Honda parked in the brush on the left side of the trailer. Williams and the MBN agent pulled into the gravel driveway as well. Williams and his dog Cartouche immediately began to track Jones along a path through the woods. [When Jones parked the vehicle, he exited the drivers side and made a 90-degree turn, running directly into the woods.]
Williams, Cartouche and the MBN agent were on the trail when they hit pavement at Sobley Rd. and Cartouche lost the scent.
[Law enforcement officials believe that the owner of the trailer, Sammie Earl Jeffries, was not home when Jones first parked the vehicle but when Jones heard Jeffries return home, he doubled back and ran into the trailer.]
Deputy Granderson arrived on scene and he and Greggs asked Jeffries if they had seen Jones. Jeffries told the deputies that he had not and granted them permission to search his home.
However, once inside the home, Jeffries became combative, blocking the officers from searching beyond the living room. Greggs radioed that “we need some help down here!” before he and Granderson managed to detain Jeffries .
The rest of law enforcement personnel arrived on scene and stormed the trailer, locating Jones in a back bedroom, hiding under the bed. Jones was immediately handcuffed and taken into custody.
While agents were conducting a thorough search of the home, Jones’s family members stood on the side of the road, yelling that Jones “hadn’t done nothing!” Both Jones’s sisters were there, as well as LaFredrick Brooks and Annie Marie Jones. Brooks is Larry Jones’s nephew.
Both Brooks and Annie Jones were arrested on April 3 at 711 21st St. N. when they attempted to receive a kilo and a half of cocaine. In addition to Brooks and Annie Marie, Stephanie Gray was also arrested at the 21st St. home. All three were charged with intent to possess cocaine, more than a kilo. However, Lee claims the three were charged with conspiracy to commit a crime.
Once law enforcement officials had Larry Jones in custody, they sent Deputy Chad Waltman to the home on Gregory Rd. to secure the scene and make sure no one entered.
After Jones was transported from the August Landing location, his family members left and headed to the home on Gregory Rd.
At the residence, things reportedly became heated between law enforcement and family members. According to Mary Lee, a pregnant Annie Marie was so upset that she began leaking amniotic fluid and an ambulance was called to transport her to the hospital.
While agents waited on a search warrant, family members once again began to proclaim Jones’s innocence. According to Lee, “They kept calling him ‘Fruit’. We’re like, who’s Fruit? That’s Larry Jones Jr.” However, moments later, Jones’s other sister referred to her brother as “Fruit.”
Lee also claimed that Gray did not know what she was signing for when she received the kilo and a half of cocaine three weeks ago. “She just thought she was getting free stuff. She thought the delivery man came to the wrong house. Who wouldn’t want some free stuff? That’s all, she just thought she was getting free stuff.”
Jones was arrested and charged with fleeing in a motor vehicle and conspiracy to distribute cocaine more than one kilo. This is Jones’s third arrest relating to cocaine, following arrests in 2002 and 2005. He was recently released from prison and was on probation at the time of Thursday’s arrest. Since Jones was on probation, he is currently in the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center without bail.