Traffic Stop

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Boyfriend? Step-dad? Suspects’ tales differ after I-55 traffic stop

By Billy Davis
An interstate traffic stop initiated by a Mississippi state trooper led to a small pot bust.

MHP trooper Dennis Darby said he stopped a female driver and a male passenger after the driver was allegedly following a vehicle too closely in the southbound lane of Interstate 55.  

The stop was made north of the Highway 35 interchange about 6 p.m. on May 22.

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According to the trooper, driver Jennifer Lanell Hervey, 34, and passenger Joe Lee Jenkins, 31, did themselves no favors by giving varying accounts of their relationship.

“He said they were boyfriend and girlfriend, and had been dating for five years. That would mean he had been dating her since she was 13, since she said she was 18,” Darby said. “She said he was her step-daddy.”

After receiving permission from the driver to search the vehicle, Darby said he found a plastic bag containing marijuana, hidden beneath clothes, in the back floorboard.

The marijuana was not weighed at the scene, but narcotics officers estimated its weight at five pounds.

“It’s by far not the biggest bust we’ve ever had,” Darby said, but it was enough to trigger a felony charge for Hervey and Jenkins.

Darby said Hervey claimed she was from Wichita, Kansas. She had no ID, and authorities at first were unable to confirm her identify after she gave the name of her daughter.

Because Hervey gave her daughter’s name, the daughter is listed in the jail log.

Jenkins is from Water Valley.
The Miss. Bureau of Narcotics assisted Darby when he discovered the alleged narcotics.