I am Todd Gee, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi. Today we are announcing the arrests of approximately 40 individuals, who are being charged in 10 federal indictments of large-scale drug trafficking crimes that occurred throughout East Mississippi with connections to Mexico, California, Texas, Alabama, and elsewhere.
The persons arrested today were engaged in trafficking major quantities of dangerous drugs, such as methamphetamine, MDMA, and cocaine. They peddled this poison for profit, affecting the lives of so many.
During this investigation, agents seized large quantities of these drugs and uncovered evidence of their trafficking in many forms, such as methamphetamine pills, liquid methamphetamine, crystal methamphetamine (“ICE”), powder cocaine, and crack cocaine. These deadly drugs kill tens of thousands of persons every year throughout Mississippi and our nation. Some of these defendants are even charged with committing a methamphetamine drug offense while minors, including a young toddler, were at the location. They choose to harm the health and life of the youngest in our community.
Investigators also seized large amounts of cash and firearms. From one bust alone, agents seized over $48,000 in cash, a semi-automatic weapon, another firearm, numerous rounds of ammunition, and thousands of dollars in narcotics.
The arrests and federal indictments we are announcing today prove the commitment our federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies have to working together to destroy the networks of large-scale drug traffickers operating in Meridian and the East Mississippi area.
I have a simple message for the drug traffickers in East Mississippi that are still on the streets after today’s arrests: Get out of the business, or like those arrested today, you will eventually spend a large portion of your life behind bars.
To the citizens of Meridian, East Mississippi, and the other areas affected by these traffickers, we hope and expect that these arrests will make your families and community safer. But we need your help to keep making a difference. If you see trafficking and other dangerous crimes going on, say something. Pull aside that police office you trust in church and tell them what you saw, call 911, or report a tip about what you saw to the hotlines maintained by the DEA, HSI, ATF, MBN, and other agencies here with me today.
The large number of arrests made today is the product of several years of cooperation by federal, state, and local agencies. I want to particularly thank the agencies whose leadership is here with me today: the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); the U.S. Marshal’s Service; the Mississippi Department of Public Safety; the
Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics; the East Mississippi Drug Task Force; the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department; the Newton County Sheriff’s Department; the Scott County Sheriff’s Department; the office of District Attorney Kassie Coleman; the office of District Attorney Steven Kilgore; the office of District Attorney Gregory Griggers; and the Alabama 17th Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force.
I thank all of you for joining us here today to announce the product of our teamwork. The Department of Justice looks forward to continuing to work with all of you to fight drug trafficking and violent criminals throughout Mississippi.