Approximately 40 arrests made in multi-state drug trafficking takedown

Published 2:32 pm Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Jackson, Miss. – Approximately 40 individuals were arrested today (Tuesday, Jan. 23) pursuant to 10 federal indictments filed in the Southern District of Mississippi charging defendants from Lauderdale, Newton, Neshoba, Scott, and Jasper counties in Mississippi, as well as Mexico, California, Texas, and Alabama. The charges stem from a four-year federal investigation of multiple drug trafficking operations distributing methamphetamine, cocaine, and other illegal drugs.

The indictments charge various drug trafficking crimes, including, but not limited, to possession with intent to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to do so.  Several defendants face mandatory minimum sentences because of the significant quantities of illegal drugs involved, and some defendants face enhanced penalties for crimes involving methamphetamine where minors were present, or for drug trafficking near schools. Additionally, some defendants have been charged with firearms-related crimes or using a telephone to threaten injury or death to another by means of an explosive device.

The following defendants were arrested today:

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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;  and Crisseta Woods, 46, of Union.

Additional defendants charged in the indictments have not yet been arrested.

Initial court appearances are scheduled to begin on Wednesday at 9 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judges F. Keith Ball and LaKeysha Greer Isaac in U.S. District Court in Jackson.

The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Todd W. Gee of the Southern District of Mississippi, 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.

The cases are being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, the East Mississippi Drug Task Force and 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 following agencies also assisted in the investigation: 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.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carla J. Clark is prosecuting the cases. The Office of Enforcement Operations in the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division also provided assistance.

State officials said this case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks, officials said.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.