Multi-agency sting nets 71 arrests; more expected - - Jackson, MS

Multi-agency sting nets 71 arrests; more expected

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By Cheryl Lasseter - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Agents from the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, the ATF, the FBI, even the Department of Corrections, descended upon homes in four delta counties early Friday morning, pulling out weapons, drugs, suspected prostitutes, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash.

Among the arrests, two police officers.  Rosedale Officer Freddie Williams turned himself in on a charge of illegally purchasing wild game. Officer James Lane of the Clarksdale Police Department is charged with two counts of selling wild game.

The sting is the culmination of a simple investigation into the illegal sale of wildlife, like deer and crappie, among a small group of people.

"We got a hot tip back in 2007. It started out as a wildlife violation, then it began to domino. Others would bring others into the group, and it culminated into the arrests today," says Jim Walker with the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

The arrests have met no resistance, for the most part. "There was a subject who did flee. There was a vehicle accident, but he was apprehended," Walker says.

About 50 arrests were made during the raid, then arrests continued throughout the day Friday as more suspects turned themselves in.  In the most recent tally, a total of $187,700 was confiscated, along with two vehicles, 600 ecstasy tablets, 6.9 pounds of marijuana, and 38 firearms, most of them stolen.

No word on whether children were found in any of the homes among the drugs and weapons.

The Department of Wildlife says the sting sends a clear message that if you're buying or selling game illegally, someone is watching you. "If anybody knows of any wildlife violations, call our number, 1-800-BE-SMART, 7 days a week," Walker says.

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