4-year drug trafficking investigation yields 40 arrests, including Alabama, Mississippi, and others

Approximately 40 individuals from Mississippi and Alabama, as well as Mexico, California, and Texas, have been apprehended following a four-year investigation into drug trafficking.

On Tuesday, law enforcement made several arrests in connection with an ongoing federal investigation into multiple drug trafficking operations. The arrests were made based on 10 federal indictments filed in the Southern District of Mississippi. The defendants involved in these indictments hail from various counties in Mississippi, as well as states like Mexico, California, Texas, and Alabama. The charges brought against them are related to the distribution of illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine, cocaine, and other substances.

The indictments bring forth a range of drug trafficking offenses, encompassing possession with the intent to distribute controlled substances and the conspiracy to engage in such activities. Certain defendants are subject to mandatory minimum sentences due to the substantial amounts of illicit drugs involved. Furthermore, some individuals face heightened penalties for offenses involving methamphetamine in the presence of minors or for drug trafficking near educational institutions. In addition to these charges, certain defendants have also been accused of firearms-related crimes or using a telephone to make threats involving explosive devices.

Today, law enforcement apprehended the individuals listed below:

    • Tavia Armstrong, 32, of Meridian;
    • Alyssia Boose, 32, of Newton;
    • Billy Boose, 46, of Newton;
    • Fred Campbell, 49, of Meridian;
    • Jacoby Clayton, 29, of Meridian;
    • Mario Cole, 37, of Meridian;
    • Bobby Coleman, 35, of Union;
    • George Collier, 46, of Pelahatchie;
    • Christopher Evans, 47, of Union;
    • Tabbgrinn Graham, 33, of Decatur;
    • James Green, 52, of Meridian;
    • Cassady Harris, 37, of Union;
    • Yvette Herring, 45, of Riverside, CA;
    • Dakota Holt, 32, of Meridian;
    • Edward House, 46, of Meridian;
    • Jeffery Jennings, 40, of Meridian;
    • James Johnson, 50, of Louin;
    • Cedric Jones, 52, of Houston, TX;
    • Lajason Jones, 43, of Decatur;
    • Markee Jones, 44, of Meridian;
    • Nathan Kendricks, 46, of Meridian;
    • Kevin King, 41, of Meridian;
    • Todrian Laphand, 30, of Meridian;
    • John Little, 31, of Meridian;
    • Nicholas Massey, 35, of Decatur;
    • Kenneth McCurdy, 43, of Forest;
    • Jeffery Murrell, 54, of Newton;
    • Johnny Patton, 42, of Quitman;
    • Darius Powell, 35, of Meridian;
    • Marcus Powell, 38, of Meridian;
    • Raykeitdgrith Ricks, 41, of Lawrence;
    • Znthony Ruffin, 38, of Toomsuba;
    • Dustin Jamal Russell, 33, of Newton;
    • Steven Savell, 48, of Union;
    • Carlos Seals, 42, of Meridian;
    • Brandon Slaughter, 31, Meridian;
    • Jacorie Smith, 27, of Meridian;
    • Curtis Spivey, 39 of Philadelphia;
    • Billy Wilson, 52, of Cuba, AL;
    • Crisseta Woods, 46, of Union.

There are still defendants named in the indictments who have not been apprehended.

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The initial court appearances are set to commence on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, at 9:00 a.m. at the U.S. District Court in Jackson. U.S. Magistrate Judges F. Keith Ball and LaKeysha Greer Isaac will preside over the hearings.

The Southern District of Mississippi’s U.S. Attorney, Todd W. Gee, along with several law enforcement officials, including Acting Special Agent in Charge Eric DeLaune of Homeland Security Investigations, Acting Special Agent in Charge Steve Hofer of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Special Agent in Charge Joshua Jackson of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and U.S. Marshal Mark Shepherd, announced the news.

The cases are currently under investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies, including Homeland Security Investigations, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, the East Mississippi Drug Task Force, the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Alabama 17th Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force, the Newton County Sheriff’s Department, and the Scott County Sheriff’s Department.

The investigation received assistance from several agencies, including the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Mississippi Highway Patrol, Mississippi Bureau of Investigations, Neshoba County Sheriff’s Office, Philadelphia Police Department, Decatur Police Department, Union Police Department, Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, Mississippi Commercial Truck Enforcement Division, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Mississippi Alcoholic Beverage Control, and the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

Carla J. Clark, an Assistant U.S. Attorney, is responsible for prosecuting the cases. Additionally, the Office of Enforcement Operations within the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice has offered its assistance.

This case is a crucial component of an operation conducted by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF). The primary objective of OCDETF is to target, disrupt, and dismantle the most influential drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that pose a significant threat to the United States. This approach employs a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, and collaborative strategy, harnessing the combined forces of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to combat criminal networks.

In the eyes of the law, an indictment is nothing more than an accusation. It is important to remember that all individuals named as defendants in an indictment are considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a court of law.

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