Edwards Man Arrested for Child Exploitation

April 9, 2015
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An Edwards man is facing charges of child exploitation today, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

George Duke, age 63, of Edwards, has been arrested in Hinds County today by investigators with the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit in a joint investigation with the Louisiana State Police. He is charged with one count of exploitation of a child for allegedly being in possession of child porn.

“We work very closely with Louisiana on these type of cases and they with us,” said Attorney General Hood.  “We appreciate our working relationship with them, especially when it comes to child exploitation cases.”

Duke was booked into the Hinds County Jail and is awaiting an initial appearance in court. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years behind bars.  As with all cases, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

 


Brookhaven Resident Going to Prison for Child Exploitation

April 7, 2015
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A Brookhaven man is going to prison for child exploitation, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Jordan Scott Gill, 26, of Brookhaven, pleaded guilty to charges of child exploitation before Judge Michael Taylor in Brookhaven Circuit Court Monday.  As a result, Gill was sentenced to 40 years with ten years to serve and five years of post-release supervision.  Gill must also pay $1,000 to the children’s trust fund, $1,000 to the crime victim compensation fund and register as a sex offender upon release.

Gill admitted to possession and distribution of multiple images of child pornography using various email accounts.  The case was investigated by the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit/Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force following numerous cyber tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

“Our working relationship with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is invaluable in tracking down child predators in our state,” said Attorney General Hood.  “I want to thank Judge Taylor for the strong sentence which lets child predators be warned that we intend to put them behind bars.”

This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorneys General Brandon Ogburn and Linda Davis.


Senatobia Resident Going to Prison for Selling Counterfeit Goods

April 2, 2015
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A Senatobia resident is going to prison for selling counterfeit goods, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Keith Danner, 42, of Senatobia, pleaded guilty today, in Tate County Circuit Court before Judge Jimmy McClure, to felony sale of counterfeit goods, possession with intent to sell counterfeit goods and possession of codeine.  Danner was arrested in March of 2014 as part of a joint operation between the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office and the Senatobia Police Department, a member of the Attorney General’s Intellectual Property Theft Task Force.  Investigators linked hundreds of counterfeit items to Danner, including clothing and accessories.

Through cooperation among the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, Senatobia Police Department and the Tate County District Attorney’s Office, Danner received twenty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with ten years suspended and ten years to serve, followed by five years of post-release supervision. He was also ordered to pay $1,000 toward investigation costs.

“I would like to thank the AG’s office for assisting us with this case and getting these drugs and counterfeit goods off the streets,” said Senatobia Police Chief Steve Holts.  “Detectives Cote and West worked really hard on this case for our office.”

“This case is a prime example of the importance of state and local collaboration to address the sale of counterfeit goods in Mississippi,” said Attorney General Hood.  “I appreciate Judge McClure for helping to ensure this defendant pays for his crime behind bars.”

Danner was selling the counterfeit items from his car.  The case was investigated by Lee McDivitt and Shannon Beaver of the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division and Detectives Matthew Cote and Jason West of the Senatobia Police Department.  It was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Shaun Yurtkuran, District Attorney John Champion and Tate County Assistant District Attorney Rhonda Amis.

“We applaud the efforts of Chief Holts and DA Champion and their offices, and we look forward to working with other local authorities on similar cases,” said Attorney General Hood.


Former Diamondhead City Manager Arrested for Perjury

April 2, 2015
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A former employee for the city of Diamondhead has been arrested following indictment for perjury, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Richard Rose, the former city manager for Diamondhead, turned himself in to authorities Wednesday at the Harrison County Detention Center.  His arrest follows indictment by the Harrison County Grand Jury for perjury.  Rose is accused of committing perjury while appearing before the Mississippi Department of Employment Security Board of Review in August 2014.  The indictment alleges that Rose swore to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth concerning “whether he had made demands for one year’s salary in exchange for not releasing incriminating information about then Diamondhead, Mississippi Mayor Tommy Schaefer.”  Rose is accused in the indictment of swearing he had never made such demands when in fact he was recorded in April 2014 making such demands.  His role at the time of the alleged crimes was as city manager for the city of Diamondhead.

The case is being investigated by Ronnie Odom and Danny Welch, and will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Larry Baker of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division.

Rose was booked into the Harrison County Detention Center and released on bond.  A trial date has not yet been set.

If convicted, Rose faces up to 10 years behind bars.  As with all cases, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Terry Mayor Arrested Following Indictment for Embezzlement

March 30, 2015
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The Mayor of the City of Terry has been arrested today on charges he embezzled from the City, announced State Auditor Stacey Pickering and Attorney General Jim Hood jointly today.

Roderick Nicholson was arrested today by special agents from the Auditor’s Office and investigators with the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division following indictment by a Rankin County Grand Jury on five counts of embezzlement. The indictment alleges that Nicholson used the city’s credit card to pay for repairs totaling over $2,700 on two personal vehicles. The work was allegedly done on five separate occasions at dealerships in Brandon and Flowood.  The total exceptions, both civil and criminal, demanded to be returned to the State of Mississippi in this case are $56,966.27.

“As an elected official, the public places a vote of confidence in you to always do what is best for those whom you represent,” said State Auditor Stacey Pickering. “ It is truly unfortunate when that trust is broken for personal gain.”

“The law does not discriminate, even when it comes to a public official,” said Attorney General Hood. “Our residents deserve honesty and integrity in their representatives, and it’s a sad day when that trust is violated.”

Nicholson was booked into the Rankin County Detention Center. If convicted, Nicholson faces up to 20 years behind bars. As with all cases, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case is being jointly investigated by the Auditor’s Office and the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division. The case will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Marvin Sanders.


Former Deputy Indicted for Shooting of Suspect During Arrest

March 27, 2015
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A former Bolivar County Sheriff’s Deputy has been arrested following indictment involving the shooting of a suspect during an arrest, confirmed Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Walter Grant was arrested Thursday by investigators with the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division following indictment by a Bolivar County Grand Jury on charges of manslaughter.  The indictment alleges that Grant, while working at the Bolivar County Sheriff’s Office, unnecessarily  shot a suspect in the head while the man was attempting to avoid arrest.

The DA’s office recused itself from the case since it involved a local law enforcement officer.  The case is being investigated by the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division and will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Marvin Sanders.

If convicted of the charge, Grant faces up to 20 years behind bars.  As with all cases, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

 

 

 


Lincoln County Resident Indicted on Two Counts of Aggravated DUI

March 26, 2015
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A Lincoln County man has been indicted on two counts of aggravated DUI involving the death of two teenagers, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Charles W. Acy III, 18, of Brookhaven, was served capias today following indictment by a Lincoln County Grand Jury indicting him on two counts of Aggravated DUI which resulted in the death of two other teenagers.  Acy is alleged in the indictment to have been driving a vehicle under the influence of marijuana and/or  Xanax.  The vehicle driven by Acy collided with another vehicle on October 14, 2014.  Both occupants of the vehicle died as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident.

Acy is currently being held in the Lincoln County Jail under a one million dollar bond.  If convicted he faces incarceration ranging from two to 25 years per count.  As with all cases, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Jim Giddy of the Public Integrity Unit.


Fentanyl an Emerging Health and Public Safety Threat in Mississippi

March 26, 2015
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The federal Drug Enforcement Administration issued a warning last week on the number of overdose deaths caused by heroin laced with the potent prescription drug fentanyl. Attorney General Jim Hood and state Bureau of Narcotics Director Sam Owens want to warn those abusing opioid-based painkillers that heroin is a dead-end alternative due to its unregulated potency and especially when it is laced with fentanyl.

Some heroin dealers are lacing their heroin with fentanyl to make it more potent. When heroin addicts inject the same amount of their regular heroin doses as heroin laced with fentanyl, they often overdose and die.

Authorities say fentanyl, a highly regulated narcotic used as part of anesthesia to help prevent pain after surgery or other medical procedure, is the most potent opioid available for medical treatment. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin.

“There were 154 drug overdose deaths reported to the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics in 2014.  Of the total, eight involved fentanyl,” said Director Owens.

Attorney General Hood stated: “I have watched Kentucky, Florida and other states battle to stop the abuse of prescription painkillers. When painkiller addicts couldn’t get primarily opioid-based painkillers, they turned to heroin. The heroin overdose death rates climbed even higher because there is no standard for potency in the illegally manufactured drug market. I hope we can stop this threat before it gets a foothold in our state.”

Last year the MBN had only four fentanyl cases that totaled fewer than 200 dosage units among them. “The cases involved transdermal patches, which sell on the illicit market for approximately $50 per patch,” said Director Owens.

“Because the drug is easily absorbed into the skin and can be accidentally inhaled as airborne powder, it is a serious threat to law enforcement officers involved in undercover operations,” said Attorney General Hood.

Authorities say the high cost and low availability of some narcotics cause many opioid addicts to turn to other prescription drugs that offer similar effects. Hydrocodone, which is prescribed for severe pain, is a popular alternative.

“Even the most civic-minded persons can find themselves caught up in the addiction cycle after an accident and the use of certain prescription drugs,” Attorney General Hood warns. “I have seen veterans who were injured in Iraq get hooked on painkillers, such as Hydrocodone, to help kill the pain from their war injuries. When doctors stop prescribing the pills, some turn to heroin. I know one this happened to and he died of a heroin overdose.”

Mississippi’s prescription drug monitoring program shows physicians, in 2014, wrote more than two million prescriptions for Hydrocodone, with more than 100 million dosage units prescribed. “That’s nearly one prescription for every person in the state,” said Director Owens.

Attorney General Hood said, “Doctor shopping by pain pill addicts is a problem. The states of Kentucky and Florida passed legislation requiring that doctors must check the Prescription Drug Monitoring system online before prescribing primarily opioid -based painkillers. This lets doctors know whether the patient has had other doctors prescribe other medications during the same period. Our Legislature has not yet seen fit to put that burden on our doctors. Most doctors and pharmacists now have immediate access to a fully functioning Prescription Drug Monitoring system.  I think we will work out a solution to prevent addicts from doctor shopping for pain pills.”

Authorities say common signs of prescription drug abuse include requesting frequent refills, seeing two or more doctors for additional prescriptions, focusing on the drug more than anything else, extreme and sudden changes in social activities as well as mood swings. “If you suspect a loved one is getting hooked on a prescription drug, it’s important to immediately seek professional help,” said Attorney General Hood.