Septic system excavated to retrieve drugs
MANSFIELD – The length narcotics agents will go to retrieve evidence in a drug investigation was evident Friday when DeSoto sheriff’s deputies excavated a septic system to recover a bag of methamphetamine that had been flushed in the commode.
Tri-Parish Drug Task Force agents and the DeSoto sheriff’s SWAT team forced their way into Paul Fuller’s combination home and business on White Springs Road in Frierson as part of their six-month investigation into suspected illegal drug sales and use there. An “elaborate” surveillance system that included video cameras and alarms on the driveway and house alerted Fuller to the officers’ presence, Sgt. Keith Banta said today.
SWAT members saw Fuller emerge from a bathroom after they entered so they got a backhoe and excavated the top of the septic system, finding a black bag that contained methamphetamine, used needles and burned tin foil.
“Luckily, when we excavated the top off of the septic system it was right out of the line out of the house. (The black bag) was sitting right there,” Banta said.
Assorted drug paraphernalia and a Browning shotgun with shells were seized from the home, which also served as the headquarters for Fuller’s construction business.
In a secondary search of the property, deputies found pieces of a late model extended cab Ford Ranger that had been burned, crushed and buried. The largest part was a fender with the Ranger emblem.
“There is more to this story. … We want to contact the owner of the vehicle to find out what was going on,” Banta said.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau is aiding investigators in tracking down a vehicle identification number. “It’s possibly a stolen vehicle,” Banta added.
Fuller, 49, of Frierson, was booked into the DeSoto Detention Center on one count each of possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a firearm with a Controlled Dangerous Substance.
Joshua D. Verhoef, 27, of White Oak, Texas, and an unidentified female were at Fuller’s home when raid took place. The female was questioned and released, but Verhoef was taken into custody and charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and parole violation.
Curtis Raye Tisdale, 58, of Greenwood, drove up to the scene as deputies were there and consented to a search of his vehicle. He was arrested after drugs and a weapon were found in his vehicle, Banta said. Tisdale is charged with felony possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a firearm with CDS.
By Vickie Welborn
NOVEMBER 23, 2009