Shoplifting investigation leads to two felony narcotic arrests

On February 10, at 8:42am, Picayune Police were dispatched to a local business in reference to a shoplifting in progress according to Assistant Police Chief Jeremy Magri.

When the police officer arrived, he was told by the loss prevention officer that two suspects, later identified as Bruce William Metz, 20, of 143 Grosbenor Place, Slidell, LA. and Mark Jason Johnson, age 22, of 967 Gause Boulevard, Slidell, LA., were inside stuffing items in their pockets and waist band.

The loss prevention officer said that Johnson had left the store and went to a car in the parking lot. The car was occupied by a female, later identified as Nicole Ashley Middleton, age 22, of 108 Timbers Drive, Slidell, LA.

Bruce William Metz Mark Jason Johnson Nicole Ashley Middleton

The police officer then setup outside the business waiting on Metz to walk outside to take him into custody. The officer then observed Johnson walk back into the store and Metz walked out a short time later. Minutes later, Metz came back out of the store and was taken into custody for shoplifting.

The police officer approached the car, a 2007 Hyundai, to see if Johnson and Middleton had any stolen items from the store in their possession. When the officer came in contact with Johnson and Middleton, he observed Johnson sitting in the driver’s seat and Johnson reached down toward his lap. At this time, the officer opened the driver side door and saw a silver pistol in the compartment inside of the door.

Magri said the officer asked Johnson to exit the vehicle, but he refused. The officer ordered to exit the vehicle, at which time he did. The officer placed Johnson into custody and handcuffed him. The officer then asked Middleton several times to exit the vehicle, and she also refused. The officer then assisted her out of the car. The officer place both Johnson and Middleton under arrest for Disorderly Conduct --Failure to Comply.

Upon doing an inventory of the vehicle, the officer retrieved the 25 caliber Phoenix Arms pistol which was determined to be stolen through a search with NCIC. The officer also found a black checkered bag located on the driver’s side front floor that contained a blue-greenish tool case that contained a set of digital scales, two baggies containing a white powdery substance believed to be Crystal Methamphetamine, one cellophane wrapper containing 4 and a half pills identified as Clonazepam, and a small clear plastic bag containing 14 yellow plastic baggies that were corner-cut from larger baggies which is a common method used to create bags to distribute illegal narcotics, a medium yellow bags with four more corner-cut bags consistent with packing illegal narcotics, a cut straw, and a hypodermic needle.

Johnson and Middleton was placed under arrest for Possession of Controlled Substance (felony), Possession for a Stolen Firearm, Possession of Paraphernalia, and Disorderly Conduct. Metz was arrested for Shoplifting.

All three were transported to the Criminal Justice Center, booked on the said charges, and incarcerated according to Magri.

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