Wesson Resident Arrested for Possession of Child Pornography

April 8, 2016
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Joseph Freeman, 54, of Wesson, has been arrested and charged with three counts of child exploitation, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Freeman was arrested late Thursday by investigators of the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit/Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force with assistance of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department. 

A joint investigation uncovered that Freeman was in possession of three pieces of electronic media which contained child sexual exploitation videos.

Freeman was booked into the Lincoln County Jail to await his initial appearance.  No bond has been set at this time.  If convicted, he faces up to 40 years behind bars per count.  As with all cases, a charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn of the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit.

 


Former Moss Point Caregiver Going to Prison for Felony Exploitation of a Vulnerable Person and Forgery

April 8, 2016
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Patricia Joy Harris, 32, of Moss Point, is going to prison after pleading guilty to felony exploitation of a vulnerable person and forgery, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Harris appeared before George County Circuit Court Judge Kathy King Jackson Thursday for sentencing after pleading guilty to one count of Felony Exploitation of a Vulnerable Person and one count of Uttering a Forgery.  Judge Jackson sentenced Harris to 10 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections for Felony Exploitation of a Vulnerable Person and five years for Uttering a Forgery, to run concurrently, with five years to serve and five years suspended followed by five years to serve post-release supervision.  Additionally, Judge Jackson ordered Harris to pay $36,112.76 in restitution, $750 in fines, $500 to the Victims Compensation Fund and court costs.

The crimes occurred between April 15, 2014 and September 11, 2014 when Harris served as a caregiver to a 79-year-old resident at a personal care home in Lucedale.  During this time, Harris wrote 19 fraudulent checks on the victim’s bank account and made 49 fraudulent charges to his credit card.

“Taking money from a vulnerable person in our state is reprehensible.  If you are caught committing such a crime, you will serve time and pay up,” said Attorney General Hood. “I thank Judge King for sentencing this woman to prison for this crime and holding this woman liable for paying back everything she took from the victim.” 

The case was investigated by Kelly Edgar of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the George County Sheriff’s Department.  Prosecution of the case was handled by Special Assistant Attorney General Kathy Blackwell Parker.

 


Magee Resident Arrested for Possession of Child Pornography

April 7, 2016
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Job Michael Craft, 40, of Magee, has been arrested and charged with one count of child exploitation, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Craft was arrested today at his mother’s residence in Mount Olive by investigators of the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit/Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force with assistance of the Covington County Sheriff’s Office and the Mount Olive Police Department. A joint investigation uncovered that Craft was in possession of child sexual exploitation videos and images.

Craft was booked into the Covington County Jail.  No bond has been set at this time. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years behind bars.  As with all cases, a charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn of the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit.

 


Picayune Man Arrested for Production and Possession of Child Pornography and Sexual Battery

April 7, 2016
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David Owens, 39, of Picayune, has been arrested and charged with production and possession of child pornography and sexual battery of a child, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Owens was arrested late Wednesday evening at his home by investigators of the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit/Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force with assistance of the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Office and the Picayune Police Department.

It was discovered Owens was in possession of child sexual exploitation videos and photos. Additionally, Owens was found to be producing child exploitation material and sexually abusing a 7-year-old child.

Owens was booked into the Pearl River County Jail with no bond set awaiting his initial appearance. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years per count for production and possession of child pornography and 30 years for sexual battery of a child. As with all cases, a charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

  

 


Cleveland Resident Arrested for Wire and Computer Fraud

April 6, 2016
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Farrah Randle, 34, of Cleveland, has been arrested for a wire and computer fraud  scheme to acquire approximately $54,000 in refunds from the Department of Revenue by filing false payments, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Randle turned herself in to authorities Monday following an indictment by a Bolivar County Grand Jury on one count of computer fraud and one count of wire fraud.  The indictment alleges Randle accessed the Mississippi Department of Revenue’s (MDOR’s) Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) and provided fraudulent payments thru TAP resulting in her receiving refunds that she should not have received.  Additionally, Randle devised a scheme to obtain money and transmitted fake payments to defraud the MDOR’s TAP system in Hinds County.

Randle was booked into the Bolivar County Jail and released after posting a bond totaling $5,000.  If convicted of computer fraud, Randle faces up to 20 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. In addition, Randle faces up to five years and a $10,000 fine for wire fraud.  As with all cases, a charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was investigated by Kyle Wilson, of the Mississippi Department of Revenue, and will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Marvin Sanders of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division.

 


Collinsville Man Going to Prison for DUI Death of 14-year-old

April 6, 2016
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Mitchell James Roberts, 24, of Collinsville, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for DUI manslaughter involving the death of a 14-year-old, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Roberts was sentenced today by Lauderdale County Circuit Court Judge Lester Williamson, Jr. on one count of DUI manslaughter.  Judge Williamson sentenced Roberts to 25 years in custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, 18 years to serve, and seven years suspended followed by five years to serve post-release supervision. Additionally, Judge Williamson ordered Roberts to pay $10,000 in fines and restitution.

The wreck happened July 13, 2013, when Roberts, while under the influence of Xanax, drove across two lanes of traffic and struck a vehicle head-on which was occupied by Arnold Aultman, Sr., and 14-year-old Arnold Aultman, Jr.  Aultman, Jr. died as a result of the wreck.  Roberts did not have a prescription for the Xanax. He was using the drug for recreational purposes and he has two previous convictions for DUI.

The case was investigated by the Meridian Police Department with assistance by Crystal Tillman and Michael Wade of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division. Prosecution of the case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Stanley Alexander and Special Assistant Attorney General Molly Miller at the request of District Attorney Bilbo Mitchell.

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victim’s family,” said Attorney General Jim Hood.  “We greatly appreciate the work of the Meridian Police Department and Judge Williamson’s solid sentence.” 

 


Poplarville Man Arrested for Child Exploitation

April 6, 2016
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Darryl Warner III, 21, of Poplarville, has been arrested and charged with one count of child exploitation, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Warner, originally from Picayune, was arrested late Tuesday at his dormitory located on the campus of the Pearl River Community College by investigators with the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit/Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force with assistance from the Pearl River Community College Campus Police Department, Pearl River County Sheriff’s Office and the Picayune Police Department. Warner, a student of Pearl River Community College, was found by investigators in possession of child sexual abuse images of children under the age of eight.

Warner was booked into the Pearl River County Detention Facility to await his initial appearance. No bond has been set at this time. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years behind bars.  As with all cases, a charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn of the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit.


Meridian Resident Arrested for Child Exploitation

April 5, 2016
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Eric Deshawn Smith, 32, of Meridian, has been arrested and charged with one count of child exploitation, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Smith was arrested late Monday at his home by investigators with the Attorney General’s Cybercrime Unit. It was discovered through an investigation that Smith was allegedly downloading images and videos of child sexual abuse.

Smith was booked into the Lauderdale County Jail.  No bond has been set at this time. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years behind bars.  As with all cases, a charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn of the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit.