Former Health Care Worker Arrested for Stealing Patient’s Money

June 15, 2018

A former certified nursing assistant of a Meridian health care facility faces 10 years in prison for allegedly stealing money from a patient, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

LaBarbara Haralson, 33, of Meridian, turned herself in Friday on a one count felony indictment of exploitation of a vulnerable person and was booked into the Lauderdale County jail. The indictment states she illegally cashed a patient’s check worth more than $250 while working as a CNA at The Oaks Rehab and Healthcare Center.

If convicted, Haralson faces 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 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 was investigated by Trey Rogers and will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorneys General Parker Wiseman and Mark Ward, each with the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

 


32 Arrests Made by Cyber Crime Team During Operation Broken Heart

June 12, 2018

The Mississippi Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force made 32 arrests from March through May as part of a national operation identifying child sex offenders, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Operation Broken Heart, which was a three-month effort led by the United States Department of Justice, was conducted by all 61 Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces in each state. It targeted suspects who produced, distributed, received, and possessed child pornography, engaged in online enticement for sexual purposes, engaged in sex trafficking of children, and traveled across state lines or to other countries and sexually abused children. In Mississippi, the ICAC task force opened 124 investigations, made 32 arrests, executed 67 search warrants, conducted 525 forensic exams of 14.8 TBs of data, trained 260 law enforcement officers, and spoke to 2,171 individuals on internet safety.

“The best thing about this operation is that 383 children were identified who had become a victim of these sick individuals. Mississippi is a safer place for our children thanks to the hard work of those who serve on our ICAC task force,” said General Hood. “The partnerships we have with nearly 70 affiliate agencies here in the state on a federal, state, and local level are critical to our ability to put perverts behind bars and far away from harming any more of our most precious gifts. Our office will not stop going after these sick people until they are all brought for their day in court.”

Nationally, Operation Broken Heart arrested more than 2,300 suspects and identified 195 offenders who either produced child pornography or committed sexual child abuse. A release from the DOJ can be found here.

Cases handled in Mississippi as part of this operation can be found at www.agjimhood.com.


State Hospital Employee Arrested for Fondling Resident

June 8, 2018

Kenneth Tanksley, 27, of Meridian, was indicted by a Lauderdale County grand jury on one felony count of fondling of a vulnerable person by an employee of a health care facility.

A former employee of East Mississippi State hospital surrendered to authorities Friday morning after being indicted for fondling a vulnerable person at the facility, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Kenneth Tanksley, 27, of Meridian, was indicted by a Lauderdale County grand jury on one felony count of fondling of a vulnerable person by an employee of a health care facility. Tanksley was suspended at the time of the alleged crime.

If convicted, Tanksley faces up to 15 years in prison and $5,000 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 was investigated by Trey Rogers with the AG’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Kathy Parker.


Gulfport Man Arrested for Possessing Child Pornography

May 30, 2018

A 32-year-old man was arrested at his Gulfport apartment Wednesday and charged with one count of child exploitation for possession of child pornography, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Scotty Peel was arrested after an investigation into his suspicious online activity and booked into the Harrison County Adult Correctional Facility. The Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, which is an affiliate agency of the AG’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, assisted in the investigation.

If convicted, Peel 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 will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn.

 


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.