Four arrested for counterfeit currency and possession of illegal narcotics

According to Picayune Police Department Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri, on June 26th, at approximately 12:13am, officers responded to a local fast food restaurant in reference to possible counterfeit currency.

Upon arrival, officers spoke to the manager who stated the restaurant had received three $10.00 bills believed to be counterfeit currency. She pointed out the vehicle in the drive thru that paid with the counterfeit currency. Officers made contact with the vehicle, driven by Matthew Dewayne Burch, age 28, 515 A South Haugh Ave, Picayune, and front seat passenger James Edward Snider, age 40, of the same address.

Matthew Dewayne Burch and James Edward Snider

While speaking with both suspects and through further conversation, it was learned there was more counterfeit currency under the front passenger seat. At this time, officers received consent from Burch to search the vehicle, and during the search, recovered five more $10.00 bills believed to be counterfeit currency from under the front passenger’s seat.

Magri said the officers also found three pieces of aluminum foil containing a brown powdery substance believed to be Heroin from a drink cup inside the vehicle. At this time, both suspects were taken into custody and transported to the Criminal Justice Center.

Through further investigation, it was learned that there was more counterfeit currency being printed at their residence at 515 A South Haugh Ave, Picayune . Officers took Snider to the residence and he signed a consent to search the residence. Upon arriving, officers made contact with Ashley Marie Pierce, age 28, and Stephen Gene Burch, age 46, of the same address as Snider.

Stephen Gene Burch and Ashley Marie Pierce

Upon searching the residence, Magri said the officers located a hypodermic needle in the refrigerator, a clear plastic bag containing a crystal-like substance believed to be crystal methamphetamine that was in a bag of clothes in the front bedroom, a set of digital scales commonly used to weigh narcotics for sale, a roll of aluminum foil which is commonly used to package heroin, a printer that contained two sheets of printed counterfeit currency, a bag of ripped up counterfeit currency, and two glass pipes commonly used to inhale narcotics.

While at the residence, it was also learned through further investigation that the suspects had been selling narcotics from the residence. At this time, Burch and Pierce were taken into custody, and along with Snider, were transferred to Criminal Justice Center according to Magri.

Snider and Matthew Burch were booked and incarcerated on two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute, and Possession of Counterfeit Currency. Pierce and Stephen Burch were booked and incarcerated on one count of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute and Possession of Counterfeit Currency.

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