Dozens arrested in Jackson County drug sting

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Law enforcement agencies from across Jackson County hit the streets Wednesday and arrested 52 suspected drug dealers. It's part of a three month long undercover investigation called Operation Moon Burn. Police also seized drugs, guns, and money.

Law enforcement officers from all over Jackson County swarmed Plymouth Street in Moss Point Wednesday morning to make a drug bust. Police arrested Delwin Bond and Adrienne Williams.

"We are not going to tolerate drug dealers in Jackson County," Sheriff Mike Byrd said.

By evening, police had taken more than three dozen people into custody. They also seized five hand guns and more than $1,200 in cash.

"These are bad guys. These are guys we were targeting; there is a mixture of big fish and small fish," Narcotics Task Force Commander Curtis Spiers said.

Spiers said during the 90 day investigation, they found several men and women in the county selling a huge amount of drugs to an undercover officer. He said crack cocaine is the most popular drug on the street right now.

"We purchased cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana, and peyote. We even purchased methamphetamine and prescription drugs," he said.

The drug sting stemmed from concerned citizens who were fed up with illegal substances being sold in their neighborhoods. Moss Point Police Chief Sheila Smallman said she was receiving calls almost every day about drugs deals in her city.

"We have a major drug problem here and we are taking care of it," Chief Smallman said.

Chief Smallman, along other leaders, decided to join force and sweep the streets of this growing problem.

"It has turned out to be very successful, and we just want people to know we are going to put our foot down," Byrd said about the drug bust.

Police said that by the end of the operation, 116 drug dealers will be taken off the streets and put behind bars. Their ultimate goal is to have a drug free county.

"We may have to borrow some of the city jails to put some of the people in if we have to."

Investigators said they also arrested Lederrick Brown, who was profiled on the show "America's Most Wanted" for a homicide in Moss Point.

Many of the defendants will face multiple charges of selling drugs to an undercover officer. They could also face up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine on each charge. Police said they also plan to shutdown any business in the county where they find drug deals taking place.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.