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franklin county times

Search for bank robber nets drug arrest instead

By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Nov. 1, 2001
Police searched a Meridian home Wednesday looking for a suspected bank robber but instead arrested the owner on felony charges.
Cleveland Hearn Jr., 28, 2019 23rd Ave., was charged with possessing more than an ounce of marijuana with intent to distribute. He was released from Lauderdale County jail under a $5,000 bond.
Meridian Police Department Detective Dean Harper said police were called to the 23rd Avenue home to search for a suspect in the Monday armed robbery of a Trustmark National Bank branch.
Harper said an officer had information that the suspect might be at the home. He said officer Ricky Roberts was called with his canine partner, who discovered a large amount of marijuana.
Even though police made no arrest in the Monday armed robbery, they did release a photograph of the man they said was responsible.
Harper said police are searching for Gary Mason, 20, of Lauderdale County. Mason, described as 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighing 150 pounds, could have a red dye on his hands.
Police said they believe a dye pack detonated in the money the robber took when he fled the College Park branch of Trustmark shortly after the 11:21 a.m. Monday crime the city's fourth bank robbery this year.
Harper said Mason is considered armed and dangerous; he said anyone who spots him should call E-911 immediately. Residents with information about Mason also can call CrimeStoppers at 485-1860.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3236, or e-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.

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