A lengthy investigation into illegal drug activity in the parish came to an end when Webster Parish Sheriff's investigators nabbed a 36-year-old Heflin man on a variety of charges.
Sheriff Gary Sexton said Joshua Wayne Payton, who lives on McCrary Road in Heflin, was arrested Friday at his residence by parish narcotics investigators enforcing a search warrant. Inside the residence, investigators found an assortment of narcotics and a handgun with the serial number defaced.
"During the course of our investigation, we had made several undercover drug buys from the suspect," Sexton said. "And just before we obtained the warrants, we also received a phone call from a concerned citizen."
Sexton said when investigators arrived at the armed with the warrant, the suspect attempted to leave.
"The suspect tried to run out the back door of the residence carrying what proved to be his drugs, but a deputy had been stationed there," Sexton said. "During a search of the residence, we found the stash hidden in a washing machine under some clothing."
Inside a box inside the residence, investigators reportedly found marijuana, crystal methamphetamine, powder cocaine, digital scales, a marijuana grinder and a pipe for smoking drugs.
"In addition to the drugs and paraphernalia, detectives found a 9mm handgun with the serial number destroyed," Sexton said.
Sexton said two juvenile-aged children were present inside the residence at the time of Payton's arrest.
Payton is charged with three counts of distribution of CDS Sch. II (methamphetamine), possession of CDS Sch. II, possession of CDS Sch. I (marijuana), possession of a firearm with obliterated serial number, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm where CDS are present and possession of CDS in the presence of minors.
He is currently being held at Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center.