Two-State Burglary, Drug Investigation

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A two-state investigation has led to the arrest of a suspect in an apparent drug and burglary ring, and more arrests could be coming.

The arrest was made in Sumter County, but the investigation reached into Lauderdale County.

The Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department and East Mississippi Drug Task Force worked with Alabama law enforcement to recover stolen items Monday.

One suspect, Rodney Coats, has been charged with receiving stolen property, burglary, and numerous drug charges.

"We went to Alabama to assist officials over there in recovering a large number of stolen items from the Lauderdale County area, as well as assisting them in a narcotics investigation in Alabama," said Sheriff Billy Sollie.

Sollie says some of the equipment stolen was from the Lauderdale County volunteer fire departments.

"We were suspecting burglaries and thefts from our area going over there, possibly swapping for narcotics and other things like that," said David Rosenbaum of the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Dept. "So we were in a support role for them and it worked out pretty well for us."

Rosenbaum says the department already has names on many of the recovered items.

"These are items that we knew who the victims were and were able to contact them and make them aware that we have recovered their property," Rosenbaum said.

Lauderdale County worked with Alabama Bureau of Investigation and Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control.