JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - One week into a home burglary investigation, officers have some big findings.
"We started investigating a home burglary that occurred, where a number of guns were taken, some music equipment, we started investigating it last Sunday afternoon," said Lieutenant Ken McClenic of the Jackson County Sheriff's Department. "And the investigation has led to 15 arrests, seven meth labs being discovered."
McClenic said investigators traced one of those stolen guns to a Vancleave meth lab. He said that gun had been in the hands of 22-year-old Jeremy Fletcher, a convicted felon, and the 15th person to be arrested in connection with the investigation. McClenic said he believes Fletcher sold the gun at the meth lab.
"He was arrested for possession of marijuana, simple possession, misdemeanor amount, violation of probation, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon," said McClenic.
Fletcher was arrested Friday of last week. The other 14 were arrested by the Jackson County Sheriff's Department and Narcotics Task Force Agents, at three different homes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, almost all of them on meth-related crimes.
Vancleave residents Shane David Gill and Rogerdale Richard Forehand were both arrested at a Gautier home early Tuesday evening at a home where a meth lab was also discovered. Officers said they were both charged with possession of chemical precursors and intent to manufacture Methamphetamine.
Investigators said Brandon Joseph Johnson of Vancleave was arrested at his home in Vancleave later that evening. Johnson was charged with possession of Methamphetamine and generation of hazardous waste. Because his home is located next door to Vancleave Upper Elementary School, officers said he was also charged with possession of Methamphetamine within 1,500 feet of a school.
Officers said the same investigation led them to two more meth labs Wednesday, when they raided a home on Low Point Road in Vancleave. Christopher Carl Brown, John Calvin Brown and Frank Phillip Spratley were each arrested and charged with manufacturing of Methamphetamine and generation of hazardous waste.
The case led to even more meth labs and arrests Thursday, according to officers. They said they found three more shake and bake meth labs and one of the stolen guns inside a home on Poticaw Rd. in Vancleave. Cindy Moe Shoemaker, her son Justin Clark, Brian Bud Bang, Robert Alton White, and Vicky Lee Reed were all charged with manufacturing meth while possessing a firearm, possession of chemical precursors with intent to manufacture Methamphetamine, and generation of hazardous waste.
Officers said Loretta Bang and Anthony Mark Bang were also charged with conspiracy to manufacture Methamphetamine. They said Anthony Bang was also charged with possession of more than 15 grams of pseudoephedrine.
Wesley Robert Sims, wanted by Ocean Springs Police, was also arrested when he walked into the investigation carrying two semi-automatic handguns, according to officers.
Even though this case has netted big findings in Vancleave, investigators said it isn't over. In fact, the home burglary that started it all still hasn't been solved.
"When I briefed her [the burglary victim] on the case, I said ‘We still haven't charged anybody with your burglary,'" said McClenic. "What I said is ‘for what it's worth, your burglary has cleaned up the streets of Vancleave.'"
McClenic said he thinks more arrests could be on the way as a result of this investigation.
"It's hard to say how many arrests or how many meth labs or how many leads we're going to produce," said McClenick. "You'd only be guessing. I hope it takes us a long way and I hope we put a lot of bad people in jail, and I hope we take down a lot of meth labs, and solve burglaries and as many crimes as we can from this investigation."
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