|Stolen guns, drugs result in arrest of Pickton man Saturday|
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
Nov. 21, 2005 - Quick work by sheriff’s deputies Saturday morning resulted in the apprehension of a burglary suspect and the seizure of several guns and three packets of methamphetamine.
Jeffrey Dean “Jeff” Pierce, 37, of Pickton remained in the county jail Monday morning in lieu of $10,000 on a third degree felony charge of felon in possession of a firearm, $25,000 bond on a second-degree felony possession of a controlled substance charge, $5,000 bond on a felony theft/possession of stolen property charge and a fine for driving with an expired license.
The incident began at 9:17 a.m. Saturday, when a Pickton dairy owner told dispatchers she was following behind a pickup truck with trailer that was hauling items the driver had just stolen out of her barn.
Warrants Officer Tony Crouse, Cpl. Richard Greer, deputy Charles Humphries, and reserve deputies Dorinda Duffey and Michael Matthews all responded to the report of burglary in progress. As the dairy barn owner followed the man, she reported to dispatchers via her cell phone of their direction of travel, enabling the deputies to each take a different direction and box the truck in at County Road 2332 in Como.
�It was well choreographed through radio traffic. We were able to contain him to a perimeter,� Crouse said.
The deputies stopped the truckand, upon contact, noticed several guns in the truck. The driver, identified as Pierce, said he took items from the complainant’s barn to retrieve property belonging to a friend, the complainant’s ex-husband. Officials said that the burglary claim will likely result in a civil matter, thus Pierce was not charged with stealing the items.
However, that was not the end of Pierce’s problems. A routine records check showed the man to be driving without a valid license, resulting in him being placed in custody for the charge. While inventorying the vehicle officers recovered seven firearms, including several long guns and two loaded handguns, as well as a binocular bag with a drawstring pouch containing digital scales and three packets of a what field tested positive as methamphetamine.
One of the rifles and a handgun were identified as those reported in stolen gun cases, one dating back to 1997 and another more recent case reported to Sulphur Springs Police.
The truck was impounded and Pierce was taken to the county jail, where he was booked for driving while license invalid, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance and theft/possession of stolen property.
The man was cooperative during an interview with Investigator Lewis Tatum, giving officers permission to search his truck accessory business at 431 South Gilmer St. Sulphur Springs Police were contacted to assist in the search. Officials located two additional guns he admitted were at the location, as well as an electric wire running from breaker box to his business to an electrical disconnect box on side of the church located next to it, according to Greer. A theft of service case is pending with city police for that offense, deputies said. Drug residue, and glass with fingerprints and residue were also found in the carpet at the business, deputies said.
Deputies are still investigating into the incident, particularly the weapons. Officials said late Monday morning it was unknown who the weapons belong to, or whether they were stolen, that they could be guns reported stolen but for which the owner could not provide a serial number to positively identify them.