Drug probe leads to woman's arrest
By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
March 22, 2002
A manager of a used car dealership was arrested and charged Thursday with receiving stolen property the latest in a drug investigation that has seized of thousands of dollars in cash and property.
Vivian Tingle, 33, 6887 A, Russell Tompton Road, Toomsuba, was arrested when the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics discovered that the white Ford F-150 pickup she used for business was allegedly stolen from California. Tingle is manager of Hodges Auto and Detail Shop.
Her arrest by MBN agents came one day after the agency's officers seized Hodges Auto and Detail Shop's 1723 Highway 39 North and 5706 Russell Tompton Road locations.
The MBN action also seized Hodges' complete 16-vehicle inventory, Tingle's truck, a single-story brick home on Russell Tompton Road and two separate bank accounts.
Jimmie Nichols, agent in charge of the Meridian district office of the MBN, said that Hodges Auto and Detail Shop is owned by Michael Hodges from Meridian. Nichols said that Hodges also is the trustee of the home that was seized.
Hodges has not been charged and could not be reached for comment.
The investigation by MBN, East Mississippi Drug Task Force and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area agents began March 11 after six pounds of methamphetamine was delivered to a business on 10th Street in Meridian.
Methamphetamine is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that dissolves in water or alcohol. It is an addictive stimulant that dramatically affects the central nervous system.
In its smoked form, it often goes by the name of "crystal meth." The drug is manufactured easily in hidden laboratories with relatively inexpensive over-the-counter ingredients.
The six pounds had an estimated street value of $750,000.
Nichols said he is convinced the owners of the 10th Street business had no knowledge that the delivery, which was intercepted by MBN agents, was to be picked up there.
The investigation led to the immediate arrest of two men Johnny D. Brewster, 19, and James F. Thompson, 40. They were both charged with conspiracy to possess more than a kilo of methamphetamine.
Further investigations led to the seizure Wednesday of the two bank accounts, the business properties and the home. Nichols said one account has about $17,000, the other $4,500.