Story from Laurel Leader-Call by Mark Thornton.

March 29, 2021
A residence outside of Ellisville has been serving as a "party house" for teenagers, Jones County Sheriff's Department officials said, and two adults are facing charges for it.
Scott Wilks, 46, and James Harris, 40, were both arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor  last week after the JCSD got evidence that dozens of minors had been going to the residence at 86 County Home Road to drink alcohol, do drugs and participate in organized fights, Sgt. Jake Driskell of the JCSD Narcotics Division said.

"They had a ring set up at the house and they beat the snot out of each other ... one got knocked out," Driskell said. "Some of (the fights) were with gloves, some without. "Even more disturbing, he said, were videos of teens drinking and doing illegal drugs in the residence - including a 14-year-old doing methamphetamine. 

It was believed that "seven or eight" people live there, including Wilks and Harris and two 18-year-olds. 

Last week, two 15-year-old boys were stopped leaving the house and they were in possession of marijuana, Driskell said. Their case was turned over to youth court, but the JCSD got a warrant to search their cell phones. That's where videos of the fighting and illegal activity were seen, Driskell said.

The only charge they were able to put on Wilks and Harris was a misdemeanor, but in their appearance in Jones County Justice Court, Judge Sonny Saul ordered them to serve 15 days in jail. Wilks was released over the weekend, however, because he had to be taken to the hospital for undisclosed medical reasons.

The arrests should put the men on notice that law enforcement is aware of what's going on at the house, Driskell said, but he also wants parents to know.

"If we have to go back, we're going to go with the full extent of the law that we can bring," he said. "We just want to prevent something bad from happening, so we shut it down. There are probably about 50 parents out there who didn't know their kids were going over there."