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Two felons arrested for possession of a firearm during traffic stop

On February 5th at around 5:30 p.m., Picayune Police Narcotics Detectives were conducting proactive patrolling when they observed a red pickup truck run a stop sign at the intersection of Jackson Landing Road and South Beech Street according to a press release from Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri.

Detectives conducted a traffic stop on the truck at the intersection for traffic violation of running a stop sign. When detectives approached the truck, they requested a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance from the driver who identified herself to be Tiffany Rhode. The detectives also asked for a valid driver’s license from the passenger identified as Brandon Anthony Whitten, age 27, 2201 McGeehee Lane, Picayune. Detectives observed a torch lighter and a folded piece of aluminum foil on the front dash in plain view. The torch lighter and aluminum foil are consistent drug paraphernalia for Heroin. Rhode and Whitten were asked to exit the vehicle and they both complied with the request.

According to the press release, detectives recovered the items on the front dash and then conducted a search of the vehicle.

During the search, detectives located a black, loaded 9mm Taurus pistol with an extended magazine. The pistol was found behind the front seat and they also found a Mississippi driver’s license which showed Rhode to be actually be Jessica Rae Burge, age 31, of 62 Sollie Smith Road, Carriere. Both Burge and Whitten denied being in possession of the pistol.

Jessica Rae Burge Brandon Anthony Whitten

Picayune dispatch notified the detectives that both Burge and Whitten were convicted felons and Whitten was wanted by the Baton Rouge, LA Police Department for drug related violations. Burge was placed under arrest for Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, False Identifying information, Careless Driving, Possession of Paraphernalia, and Running a Stop Sign. Whitten was placed under arrest for Possession of a Firearm by a Felon and the outstanding warrant from the Baton Rouge Police Department.

Both Burge and Whitten were transported to the Criminal Justice Center where they were booked and incarcerated.


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