PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) – Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies are teaming up to eject Jackson Countys worst criminals.
Multiple agencies gathered in Pascagoula Thursday morning to announce the results of a major crime-fighting operation that has been going on for the past 13 months.
U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst said there have been 17 people federally indicted since the investigation began and 97 illegal guns taken off the streets, including one that was stolen from a marked police car. Twenty of those stolen firearms were reported stolen or had obliterated serial numbers.
Those indictments are on federal charges, which means defendants could be held without bond until their court date, face maximum sentences, and not be offered any type of plea deals.
The operation is targeting career criminal offenders, armed narcotics traffickers, and documented gang members in and around Moss Point and Pascagoula.
The arrests this week are the result of months of hard work by special agents, officers, and prosecutors to take violent criminals off our streets and put them in jail where they belong. Todays announcement… should serve as warning to criminals on the Coast and throughout Mississippi, you will be caught, you will be prosecuted, and you will be punished for your crimes,” said Hurst. “You can expect to see a lot more of us in the coming months, as we expand our crime-fighting efforts, help law-abiding citizens take back their communities and make the Coast safe again.”
PASCAGOULA, Miss. — An operation led by state, federal, and local officials led to the successful indictments of 17 criminals off the streets U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst announced Thursday.
A 13-month undercover operation led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives led to the arrest of criminal offenders and gang members on federal criminal charges specifically in the Pascagoula, Moss Point area.
The South Mississippi Metro Enforcement Team, in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigations Safe Streets Task Force carried out more than 30 controlled purchases of illegal firearms and narcotics to weed out the worst criminals in the community and bring them to justice.
Throughout the investigation, 97 firearms were removed from the streets, including one recovered from a marked police vehicle. Of the firearms seized, 20 were either reported stolen or had serial numbers destroyed.
Of the 17 defendants on gun charges, half have already pled guilty or have indicated their intention to plead guilty.
According to Hurst, the operation focused on violent crime areas statewide, including Jackson County, in a push to remove criminals from the streets and out of neighborhoods.
“Today should serve as a reminder to criminals along the Coast and throughout Mississippi that you will be caught, you will be prosecuted, and you will be punished for your crimes,” Hurst said. “You can expect to see a lot more of us in the coming months as we expand our crime-fighting efforts, help law-abiding citizens take back their communities and make the Coast safe again.”