Sheriff: Task Force arrests drug dealer after car chase

Published 12:39 pm Thursday, August 29, 2019

Hedrick Lamar Bickham, 61, a resident of A. J. Brumfield Road north of Franklinton, thought he could avoid his sixth arrest by fleeing from Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office narcotic detectives. He was wrong and is now in the Washington Parish Jail.

WPSO Chief Deputy Mike Haley said that Bickham was charged with possession with intent to distribute narcotics, aggravated flight from an officer, resisting an officer with force or violence, obstruction of justice, criminal damage to property and traffic offenses. His bond has been set at $50,000.

On Wednesday, WPSO Drug Task Force detectives were conducting operations in the Franklinton area, Haley said. A suspicious vehicle left a residence known to be an illegal narcotics location and eventually turned north on 11th Avenue. After noticing the driver commit traffic offenses, a narcotics detective activated his blue light and siren, after which the driver stopped in the parking lot of the Bridge Store, Haley said.

“As the detective exited his vehicle and approached the suspect’s vehicle on foot, the driver suspect suddenly sped away, heading north on Highway 430,” Haley said. “With detectives in pursuit, the then unknown suspect turned onto Old Columbia Road and attempted to flee at a high rate of speed, all the while throwing plastic baggies out of the window of his vehicle. As some of the plastic baggies struck the pavement, they burst open releasing a cloud of white powder.

“Detectives were finally able to stop the vehicle near Johnny Magee Road, at which point the driver lost control of his vehicle and went into a grass covered area adjacent to a cemetery. As the driver attempted to drive away, he struck three detective vehicles before finally coming to a stop.”

Haley said that detectives pulled the driver from his vehicle and he continued to resist the officers until he was subdued and handcuffed. Detectives then searched the vehicle and discovered what appeared to be rock and powder cocaine. Patrol units who had responded to the scene then transported the driver, who by that time had been identified as Bickham, to the Washington Parish Jail.

Haley said that Bickham’s previous five stays in the Washington Parish Jail date back to 2009 and include a variety of drug offenses, several counts of issuing worthless checks, theft, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and traffic offenses.

“It always amazes me that some people continue to engage in criminal activity over a period of several years, getting caught and arrested time after time,” stated Sheriff Randy Seal. “It’s almost as if they think they are invisible. In their own minds, they might imagine they are.

“To the watchful eyes of our officers, they certainly are not invisible. Sooner or later, we catch up with them, arrest them and put them in the parish jail where there is always room for one more.”