(The following press release and photo were submitted to MyFOX23.com from the Jones County Sheriff's Department.)
JONES COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI – Jones County Sheriff’s Narcotics Investigators made two arrests on June 6, 2018 after a detailed investigation, which included information from an incarcerated male (who is charged with an incident unrelated to this narcotics case).
Information gathered from the incarcerated male corroborated several leads the investigators had gathered, including drug activity of Angel C. Hardwick, 25 of Seminary, and Paxton C. Luke, 24 of Laurel. The male did not receive any leniency in his charges for the information. The informant did implicate Hardwick and Luke in several known narcotic incidents. It was also determined that much of the information Hardwick and Luke shared with potential “customers” was done through cell phone and Facebook Messenger.
Narcotics Investigators had arrest warrants for Hardwick and Luke. Hardwick was taken into custody at her residence, where she admitted on the scene and again in interview, to buying and using narcotics. Hardwick consented for the investigators to look at her cell phone. While an investigator was looking at it a message from Luke appeared that read, “Hey, I found some lortabs.”
Investigators went to Luke’s residence, but just missed her as she was heading to her place of employment. She was followed to the Jones County Emergency Operations Center, where she and Hardwick are employed as dispatchers (Dispatch is not under the Jones County Sheriff’s Department’s authority). Luke was exiting her vehicle with her purse on her shoulder when she recognized an investigator and threw her purse back in the vehicle and shut the door. When asked if the investigator could search her vehicle, Luke replied, “No.” A search warrant was secured and investigators found her purse in her vehicle. Inside the purse was 28.5 “lortabs” and drug paraphernalia. A look at her cell phone revealed a message telling someone to meet her at the “EOC” to buy pills that day.
Luke was taken into custody and charged with Conspiracy to Possess a Controlled Substance and Possession with Intent. Hardwick is charged with Conspiracy to Possess a Controlled Substance. Their initial appearances are scheduled for Friday, June 8, 2018 at 1:00pm at Jones County Justice Court. This investigation is ongoing. Withholding any information concerning this drug activity or any other, could result in criminal charges.