CLARKSDALE – After receiving anonymous tips and conducting undercover investigations, a freshman student at Coahoma Community College was arrested Tuesday and charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of a firearm on a college campus.

The Coahoma County Sheriff’s Department said they executed a search warrant on the dorm room of Hardest Vaughn Jr., a 19-year-old native of Southaven, and found several items including one handgun with an extended magazine, one semi-automatic rifle with a 30-round magazine, and assorted manufacturing materials to produce baked chocolate cookies and brownies laced with THC.

George Brown of the Coahoma Community College Department of Safety said in a news release sent to Mississippi Today that the department, in conjunction with the Coahoma County Sheriff’s Office, is continuing to investigate the incident.

“The safety, security, and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors is Coahoma Community College’s top priority,” the community college’s communications department said in a statement. “The institution … has a zero-tolerance policy as it relates to drugs and weapons on its campus and satellite locations.”

Vaughn was taken into custody and is currently being held in the Coahoma County jail.

In a Facebook video of the press conference, Coahoma County Chief Deputy Leon Williams, who oversees the narcotics division, said the narcotics department began investigating about two weeks ago. The Department started tracking Vaughn through social media and decided to execute the search warrant.

“This is my first time experiencing this, and I’ve been in law enforcement since 1982,” Williams said at the media conference. “Our main concern is making sure the community is educated.”

Although no violence occurred, Coahoma County Sheriff Charles Jones said making the public aware of such instances is a priority for them, he said.

We’re trying to be proactive and we don’t want the public to think it doesn’t happen on school campuses,” Jones said. “It could’ve been a disaster and we want to make sure the public is aware.”


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Aallyah Wright is a native of Clarksdale, and was a Mississippi Delta reporter covering education and local government. She was also a weekly news co-host on WROX Radio (97.5 FM) and collaborator with StoryWorks/Reveal Labs from the Center for Investigative Reporting. Aallyah has a bachelor’s in journalism with minors in communications and theater from Delta State University. She is a 2018 Educating Children in Mississippi Fellow at the Hechinger Report, and co-founder of the Mississippi Delta Public Newsroom.