Drug suspects lead St. Mary agents on high-speed chase

Two men driving on U.S. 90 in Patterson who were suspected of having illegal drugs led St. Mary Parish narcotics agents on a high-speed chase that ran other vehicles off the road and nearly hit pedestrians before the pursuit ended in Verdunville, officials said.

The driver, Derrick Kelly, 19, of Franklin, was booked on one count each of improper lane usage, aggravated flight from an officer and possession of marijuana.

Jamarcus Gunner, 20, of Verdunville, was jailed on counts of possession of synthetic cannabinoids with intent to distribute, obstruction of justice, resisting an officer and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Sheriff’s narcotics detectives were on U.S. 90 when they saw Kelly nearly hit another westbound vehicle then speed off once detectives signaled them to stop, St. Mary Parish spokeswoman Traci Landry said.

“The driver of the car failed to stop and fled from detectives ... traveling at a high rate of speed and running other vehicles off of the roadway,” Landry said.

The fleeing car sped onto Kelly Pellerin Lane in Verdunville, “where the driver of the car passed close to pedestrians standing in the roadway,” Landry said.

After stopping, Gunner got out, threw “several bags of synthetic marijuana into the back seat of the vehicle” and tried to run away before he was caught, she said.

Detectives also found a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and valued the synthetic marijuana at $2,000, Landry said.

A third person in the vehicle was not arrested.

On Thursday morning, no bail had been set for the suspects.