The multi-agency law enforcement act, Operation Bunny Hop, led to the discovery of a brothel in a downtown Jackson nightclub early Saturday morning.
Once agencies made its way through the doors of Club Pluto, officers were shocked to find a brothel inside the facility. At least four bedrooms were discovered.
Hinds County Sheriff Tyrone Lewis says this is unacceptable and he will not continue to tolerate this type of activity in the Metro area.
"Our goal was to clear the streets of criminal activity, and some people didn't get the memo. So, those that didn't get the memo, we were able to catch a lot of felons that were wanted, had about 55 arrests, 20 of which were misdemeanors. Some were prostitution, as well as illegal firearms," specifies Lewis.
This particular club did not have its liquor license. The Alcohol Beverage Control was also in on the bust; they found a room full of liquor bottles the club was serving to its customers.
Overall, the three and a half day operation yielded 257 citations from checkpoints, 74 misdemeanor arrests, 26 felony arrests, 102 drug arrests, 26 DUI arrests and 10 arrest warrants were served.
Operation Bunny Hop continued through the holiday weekend. Friday night agencies say they focused on stings, night clubs and illegal drugs. Nearly a dozen law enforcement agencies teamed up to keep Metro area streets safe over the Easter holiday and crack down on illegal activity.
"It allows an atmosphere of violence when the owners and security allow illegal activity to start in a park lot. Once it starts inside the parking lot. Once it starts inside the parking lot, it moves inside the club. And it causes risk and danger to anybody who's out there trying to have a good time," explained Sheriff Lewis.
Thursday night WLBT was with the Hinds County Sheriff's Department when the operation kicked off.
Officers found marijuana, cocaine and paraphernalia during the eight-hour phase one of the operation. Hinds County alone had a total of nine drug arrests.
The Jackson Police Department said it had 377 citations and 61 arrests Thursday night. Between JPD and the Hinds County Sheriff's Department, 10 DUI arrests were made in a matter of hours.
Also, a convenience store owner was cuffed and taken to jail for allegedly selling single cigarettes out of open packages.
"A lot of people were not educated on the single sale cigarettes or underage drinking. So exposing these types of activities and exposing these types of businesses, it helps the community as a whole," said Sheriff Lewis.
The operation kicked off at the Metrocenter Mall in downtown Jackson Thursday evening, and Hinds County Sheriff Tyrone Lewis says it is the goal of all law enforcement officers involved to protect the citizens and keep potential criminals off the streets.
"It's a bad night for the criminals and a good night for law abiding citizens," voiced Lewis.
HCSO officials know they are certainly not working alone when it comes to protecting the families in the Metro. Hinds County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Othor Cain explains the purpose of the mega crackdown.
"It's a massive effort of combined agencies, nearly a dozen agencies are here, to make the criminal element in Hinds County and in Jackson to feel extremely uncomfortable, and to make those law abiding citizens feel very, very comfortable," explains Cain.
The Hinds County Sheriff's Office, Jackson Police Department, FBI, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Pearl Police Department, and the Madison County Sheriff's Department are just some of the agencies who will be patrolling the Metro areas streets looking for wrong-doing in the communities.
"[Residents] can expect to have a great time in the City of Jackson and a great time across Hinds County and feel like they are safe and very comfortable. We know a lot of family members are traveling inside the City of Jackson and inside Hinds County and we are trying to make them feel extremely comfortable while they are here," adds Cain.
During a checkpoint at Fortification and Maple Streets in downtown Jackson around 10 p.m. Thursday officers were able to confiscate two handguns during a routine stop.
"These particular individuals came through the checkpoint and they had what would be stolen firearms, so we wound up getting two firearms off the street. [This] is good for us so we don't have any illegal firearms on the street this weekend. So, we're pretty pleased about that," states Lewis.
"We wanted to do check points to look for wanted individuals, illegal weapons, people that are driving with illegal drivers license. So far, it's been effective. We expect to have a violent free holiday weekend," confirms Lewis.
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