By Laurence Hilliard

Kemper County Messenger

The Kemper County Sheriff's Department made five arrests Sunday on charges resulting from the possession of drugs at the Kemper Neshoba Regional Correctional Facility. They were identified by Sheriff James Moore as Darron Thomas of Meridian, Valerie Terrell of Brookhaven, Nathan Nelson of Starkville, Kaleeta Ward of Starkville and Dikirra Stewart of Meridian.

All five had initial court appearances Monday and bond for each was set at $20,000. Thomas, Terrell, Ward and Stewart were released after posting bail.

Nelson was not released because the Mississippi Department of Corrections has a hold on him because he is on probation for a previous conviction for possession of a controlled substance. “They (MDOC) are probably going to come get him” Moore said.

Thomas also has a previous conviction for possession of a controlled substance. The other three do not have criminal records.

Nelson was arrested inside the jail in possession of marijuana, meth and cocaine that she allegedly was attempting to smuggle to a prisoner. The other four were arrested outside the jail as result of a search of them and their vehicles.

“There's a big sign at the facility that tells everyone once they come on the premises they are subject to search,” Moore said. “We were running an operation where we were searching vehicles. It turned out to be a good day,”

The five persons arrested were not acting in unison, according to Moore.

Conviction on the charges could result in a prison sentences of up to 20 years. The charges will be presented to a grand jury. There will be a grand jury session in Kemper County next month, but the charges might not be considered at that time, depending on how soon lab analysis of the confiscated drugs is completed.