Your Community Newspaper - Larose, LA

Serving Raceland, Gheens, Lockport, Valentine, Larose, Cut Off, Galliano, Golden Meadow, Leeville, & Grand Isle

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Share This Article:

Convicted Felon Found In Possession Of A Loaded Gun And Drugs After Asking Deputies For A Ride Home

Convicted Felon Found In Possession Of A Loaded Gun And Drugs After Asking Deputies For A Ride Home

Melissa Runnels

A convicted felon found in possession of a firearm and narcotics was arrested after asking deputies for a ride home. Melissa Runnels, 35, of 1797 West Main Street in Schriever was found with a loaded handgun, suspected marijuana and drug paraphernalia. 

At around 11 p.m. on Tuesday, December 10, deputies responded to a fast food restaurant in Raceland after receiving reports that a female subject was banging on the door and yelling at employees to allow her to enter the restaurant.

The suspect was identified as Melissa Runnels. Runnels told deputies she was stranded at the location by her boyfriend following an argument and that she only wanted a ride home. Deputies agreed to transport Runnels to her residence, but first conducted a pat-down search for officer safety.

During that search, deputies discovered Runnels to be carrying a loaded 9mm handgun with 41 extra rounds of ammunition in her pockets.

After the gun was discovered, Runnels began changing her story several times and was detained by deputies pending a further investigation. During that time, Runnels also complained of shortness of breath, and was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

While at the hospital, Runnels attempted to swallow a plastic bag containing suspected marijuana, but medical staff prevented her from doing so. Deputies also learned Runnels is a convicted felon and discovered drug paraphernalia in her possession.

Runnels was arrested and transported to the Lafourche Parish Detention Center where she was booked with possession of marijuana (3rd and subsequent offenses), possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and illegal carrying of a weapon in the presence of a controlled dangerous substance.

She is currently being held in lieu of $57,000 bond as set by Judge Bruce Simpson, and she is also being held for Louisiana Probation and Parole.

Runnels has 16 prior arrests, all of which occurred in Jefferson Parish, stemming back to 2006. Her prior arrests were for charges such as drug possession, battery, resisting, and escape, and her record shows multiple convictions from those arrests.