CARROLLTON -- One of three men facing charges in a statewide pharmacy burglary ring stood before a judge in Carroll County Tuesday morning.
Willie Taylor entered a plea of not guilty, before Fifth Circuit Judge Joseph Loper. Winona attorney Raymond Baum was appointed defense counsel. Taylor informed Loper that he is currently a state inmate in the custody of the Yazoo County Regional Correctional Facility, and bond was denied.
Bond for Taylor was originally set at $1 million following his December arrest by agents with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (NBN).
Following Willie Taylor’s appearance before Loper, Marcus Taylor was called, but the wrong inmate was transported to the Carrollton Courthouse. Two men, each named Marcus Taylor, are being held at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl, and there was an apparent mix up, according to Stanley Alexander, attorney with the Mississippi Attorney General’s office.
A trial date for Willie Taylor was set for November 17 in Carrollton. Marcus Taylor is expected to make his initial appearance next week in Vaiden at the start of circuit court in the Southern District.
The Taylors, and another man, were arrested and charged in connection with a ring of drug store burglaries in several area towns.
On December 7, Willie Taylor, brother Marcus Taylor, and Leabrian Myers were arrested following an MBN investigation of an Ackerman drug store burglary. According to Carroll County Sheriff Jerry Carver, it appears that the MBN investigation connected the three with a June 2013 burglary of Anderson’s Pharmacy in North Carrollton.
The arrest by agents was the culmination of a six-month investigation into a series of pharmacy burglaries by a group investigators dubbed the “The Trash Bag Gang.”
Locally, investigators discovered that during the North Carrollton burglary and the Fred’s Pharmacy break-in at Kilmichael, telephone lines were cut, and the drugs were dumped into a large garbage can.
Montgomery County Sheriff Bubba Nix said so far the burglaries of Fred’s Pharmacy in Kilmichael and Hammond’s Pharmacy in Winona have not yet been connected to the ring.
Both Taylors were arrested at a residence in South Jackson, and Myers was arrested during a traffic stop on Gluckstadt Road in Madison County. Agents seized nearly 6,500 dosage units of narcotics, six marijuana plants, 30 grams of processed marijuana and a THC-laced popsicles.
Carver said Myers is making a court appearance in another county, but he expects him to make his Carroll County appearance soon.
“A lot of areas were hit by these guys,” Carver said.