Columbus Resident Arrested on 2 Counts of Child Exploitation

May 24, 2018

A 25-year-old Columbus resident was arrested at her home Wednesday on two counts of child exploitation for possession of child pornography, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Jamie Tracey was arrested by AG Cybercrime investigators with assistance from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office after an investigation into suspicious online activity.

Jamie Tracey was arrested by AG Cybercrime investigators with assistance from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office after an investigation into suspicious online activity. Tracey was booked into the Lowndes County Adult Correctional Facility.

If convicted on both counts, Tracey faces up to 80 years in prison and $1,0000,000 in fines. A charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn.


Booneville Man Arrested on 3 Counts of Child Exploitation

May 22, 2018

Sean Jones, 35, of Booneville, was charged with three counts of child exploitation for possession of child pornography

A 35-year-old man was arrested at his Booneville home Monday on three counts of child exploitation for possession of child pornography, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Sean Jones was arrested after an investigation into his suspicious online activity. Multiple agencies assisted in the arrest and investigation, including the AG’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, FBI Task Force, and Prentiss County Sherriff’s Office.

Jones was booked into the Prentiss County jail pending an initial appearance.

If convicted on all three counts, Jones faces up to 120 years in prison and $150,000 in fines. A charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn.


AG Hood Wants Stiffer Penalties for Irresponsible Drug Manufacturers

May 21, 2018

Attorney General Jim Hood and a bipartisan group of 38 other attorneys general are calling on congressional leaders to promptly pass measures to help hold opioid manufacturers accountable for not identifying suspicious shipments of the drug that contribute to the overwhelming opioid epidemic in our country.

The coalition sent a letter to the chair and ranking member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and the Judiciary Committee, urging them to pass S.2456, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 2.0 and S.2440, the Comprehensive Addiction Reform, Education, and Safety (CARES) Act. Among other provisions, CARA 2.0 and the CARES Act increase penalties on drug manufacturers that fail to report suspicious transactions and maintain effective controls against diversion of their drugs to the illicit market. The bills would increase the civil penalty from $10,000 to $100,000 per violation for negligence in reporting suspicious activity and double the criminal penalty to $500,000 for companies that willfully disregard or knowingly fail to keep proper reporting systems or fail to report suspicious activity.

“Opioid manufacturers can no longer get away with turning a blind eye to their contribution to the drug crisis our country is facing,” said General Hood. “They have a duty to ensure that they take steps to prevent drugs from entering the illicit market and devastating our communities. Mississippi filed suit against these companies several years ago for misleading consumers about the addictiveness of these pills, and this call to Congress is just one more step that we hope will save lives in Mississippi and across the country.”

General Hood led the nation in filing the first lawsuit on behalf of a state against multiple drug manufacturing companies for falsely marketing opioids as rarely addictive. The suit was filed in December 2015 in Hinds County Chancery Court against 17 companies. General Hood charges that the companies deceived Mississippi Medicaid, doctors, and consumers in order to boost profits at the expense of innocent victims.

More information on CARA 2.0 and the CARES Act can be found at congress.gov.

Other states signing the letter include Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia and Washington.


Laurel Woman Arrested for Possessing Child Pornography

May 17, 2018

A 35-year-old woman was arrested at her Laurel home Wednesday on one count of child exploitation for possession of child pornography, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Kristina Lee was arrested by the AG’s Cyber Crime Unit after an investigation into her suspicious online activity. She was booked into the Jones County Adult Correctional Facility.

If convicted, Lee faces up to 40 years in prison. A charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was investigated by the Mississippi Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task and will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn.


Former Hattiesburg Candidate Pleads Guilty to Voting Outside of District

May 14, 2018

A Hattiesburg man who ran for an open state representative seat last year was sentenced Monday morning after pleading guilty to voting outside of his legal district, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Cory Ferraez, 28, was sentenced by Lowndes County Circuit Court Judge Lee Coleman to six months in the custody of the county jail with all six months suspended. He was ordered to pay a $200 fine, $200 assessment to the Crime Victims Compensation Fund, and all court costs.

Ferraez illegally voted in a 2015 election in Lowndes County even though he was living in Hattiesburg. He was arrested on a capias in December following an indictment by a Lowndes County grand jury. He was indicted for swearing to a false application for absentee ballot, in addition to voting outside of his legal domicile, but the first charge was dropped in exchange for his guilty plea to count two.

“The defendant is a lawyer, who appeared before the State Election Commission, and was warned by my Deputy AG on the record that it is illegal to claim residency in one place yet vote in another,” said General Hood. “He was told that an investigator was present and recording the meeting. When he qualified to run, he filed a sworn statement that he had lived in Hattiesburg for the two year period required by law. At the Election Commission meeting, he was confronted with his Lowndes County voter record during those two years. It is voter fraud to vote where you do not reside. Of all people, a lawyer should follow the law, especially after he was given the courtesy warning.”

This case was investigated by Roger Wade and prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Stan Alexander, both with the AG’s Public Integrity Division.


Holmes County Man Sentenced for Breaking into Dollar General

May 14, 2018

A 20-year-old man who broke into a Dollar General last year pleaded guilty to the crime and will spend two years in jail, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Michael Amos, of Goodman, was sentenced Friday by Holmes County Circuit Court Judge Janie Lewis on one count of business burglary. He was sentenced to five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with two of those years to serve, three years suspended, and three years post-release supervision.

Amos was arrested by the Pickens Police Department in January 2017 for breaking into a Pickens Dollar General with another person by using a shopping cart. The alarm alerted police to the scene, and although Amos and his accomplice were no longer there, police found items missing including cigarettes, wine, and cell phones. A tip led police to Amos that day, at which point he was arrested and charged.

“I hope this young man will learn a lesson while he’s behind bars that no item in a store is worth spending part of your life in a jail cell,” said General Hood. “The successful response to the crime and locating of the suspect was a joint effort by the Pickens Police Department and Holmes County Sheriff’s Office. I offer a job well done to both agencies.”

A conflict of interest at the district attorney’s office sent this case to the attorney general. It was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Marvin Sanders with the AG’s Public Integrity Division.


Clinton Man Arrested for Possessing Child Pornography

May 10, 2018

A 73-year-old man was arrested at his Clinton home Wednesday on one count of child exploitation for possession of child pornography, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Terry Baum was arrested by investigators in the AG’s Cyber Crime Unit after an investigation into his suspicious online activity. He was booked into the Clinton Police Department on a $500,000 bond.

If convicted, Baum faces up to 40 years in prison. A charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was investigated by the Mississippi Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force with assistance from the Clinton Police Department. It will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn.


Brookhaven Man Sentenced on 3 Counts of Child Exploitation

May 4, 2018

A 57-year-old Brookhaven man will spend 10 years in prison for possessing and distributing child pornography, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Danny Carlisle was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to all three counts before Lincoln County Circuit Court Judge David Strong. Carlisle was indicted in December on one count of child exploitation for possession of child pornography and two counts of child exploitation for distribution of child pornography. Judge Strong sentenced him to 40 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with 10 years to serve and 30 years suspended on each count. The sentences will run concurrently. He also received five years post release supervision, $5,000 in fines for each count, was ordered to pay $1,000 to the Crime Victims Compensation Fund and $1,000 to the Children’s Trust Fund, and he must register as a sex offender.

An investigation discovered Carlisle had images of children as young as toddlers being sexually exploited. He uploaded those images to a Google account, which then alerted the attorney general’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force of the illegal activity. Investigators also seized a doll that Carlisle transformed to look like a seven-year-old girl.

“Thanks to Judge Strong’s sentencing, another pervert is no longer a threat to our children,” said General Hood.

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