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PICAYUNE — Deputies patrolling Pearl River County during Hurricane Isaac found an Alabama man manufacturing methamphetamine in what appeared to be an abandoned home.

Sgt. Daniel Quave was part of additional patrols on county roads during the hurricane on Aug. 30. As he patrolled the area of Jackson Landing Road near Donald Penton Road, at about 10:30 p.m., he came across a vehicle with its headlights on parked at what appeared to be an abandoned home, said Chief Investigator Donnie Saucier.

Quave considered a vehicle at what appeared to be an abandoned home to be suspicious and decided to check the situation. Quave smelled what he believed to be fumes from the production of methamphetamine as he neared the home, Saucier said.

As he checked around the home, he noticed the back door was open and he then came into contact with 34-year-old Eric Shawn Stegall, of 21653 County Road 48, Robertsdale, Ala., Saucier said. Quave talked with Stegall, and noticed a couple of glass bottles containing what appeared to be a white substance, Saucier said. One of the bottles had smoke coming from it, the chief investigator said. Saucier said Quave took Stegall into investigative custody and called Detective Rob Williams to the scene.

Williams, who also was out patrolling during the storm, obtained a search warrant for the unoccupied home and found an active methamphetamine lab along with a number of precursor chemicals, Saucier said. Stegall was charged with manufacture of a controlled substance and possession of precursor chemicals, Saucier said.

A check of Stegall’s record with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Department in Alabama showed the suspect had a warrant out for his arrest for narcotics related violations. Once the warrant was confirmed with the Alabama law enforcement agency, an extradition hold was placed on him.


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