Pearl River County Sheriff David Allison said two arrests were made on August 23, 2019, after Investigators with the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department’s Narcotics Unit and Deputies with the Patrol Unit made a traffic stop on a motor vehicle at 2001 Highway 11 South in Nicholson.
Sheriff Allison said Investigators were aware of the driver of the vehicle, James Lavigne, Jr, age 44 of #16 Sam Wallace Road, Carriere. Lavigne had an outstanding warrant for his arrest through the Sheriff Department’s Criminal Investigation Division for grand larceny as well as an outstanding protection order that needed to be served on him, and a suspended drivers’ license according to Sheriff Allison.
Upon making contact with the occupants of the vehicle, it was discovered that Cinda Netto Thigpen, age 62, of 20 Davis Dawsey Road, Picayune, MS, was in possession of a distribution amount of heroin concealed on her person according to Sheriff Allison.
Lavigne (pictured left above) was taken into custody for his outstanding warrant once the Investigators verified the warrants were active. Thigpen (pictured right above) was taken into custody for Possession of Heroin with Intent to Distribute. Thigpen was currently out on bond for Possession of Heroin with Intent to Distribute stemming from an arrest on August 11, 2019. Thigpen’s initial bond was revoked on her first charge which means she will remain incarcerated until her trial date.
Sheriff Allison said Cinda Thigpen is the mother of Richard Alan “Dicky’ Thigpen who pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 15 years in prison as a habitual offender in 2017 on charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance (Heroin) with Intent to Distribute. He is currently incarcerated with the East Mississippi Correction Facility in Lauderdale County.
Sheriff Allison said that Michael Shane Penton was a resident at Thigpen’s residence at 20 Davis Dawsey Road, Picayune, and he was arrested at Cinda Thigpen’s residence in September of 2018 during a home inspection with the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Penton was arrested for Possession of Marijuana, Heroin, Methamphetamine, Prescription Medication, all with Intent to Distribute, Tampering with Physical Evidence, and a probation violation with a hold with the Mississippi Department of Corrections according to Sheriff Allison. Penton is currently incarcerated in the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman.
Sheriff Allison stated, “When it comes to narcotics, it appears this bunch keeps it all in the family. We are not going to tolerate this kind of behavior and activity in Pearl River County, particularly when someone thinks they can continue to sell and distribute illegal narcotics.”
Sheriff Allison said it appears that Cinda Thigpen stepped in and took over the drug distribution operation after the other two were incarcerated.
Sheriff Allison said he is thankful for the efforts of his Investigators and Patrol Deputies and their joint efforts with the Mississippi Department of Corrections in this and other activities in the fight against illegal drugs in Pearl River County.