Former Harrison County Sheriff Leroy Hobbs died Monday morning. Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove says the 73-year-old passed away of natural causes at his Biloxi home.
Hobbs made headlines for decades. After three terms as Harrison County Sheriff, Hobbs was convicted on racketeering and drug conspiracy charges.
Harrison County District Attorney Cono Caranna was elected the same year Hobbs was convicted.
"He came through the Gulfport Police Department, served as chief in the '60s. By the early '70s, he was elected Sheriff, continued to be well thought of in law enforcement circles and the community. And then about 1983, he was under investigation and subsequently convicted," Caranna said.
After being released from prison Hobbs kept a low profile. Despite being a convicted felon, Hobbs shocked everybody last year when he announced he was running for sheriff.
"I don't know how much of a comeback of that was, or if it was just Leroy being Leroy. He had his good days, and in the end, he had his bad days. He was convicted, served his time, was back in the community, and because of a quirk in Mississippi law, he was able to run again," Caranna said.
Lester Thompson met Leroy Hobbs years ago when they were both young men working their way through the ranks in law enforcement. Thompson says to this day, he considers Hobbs a friend.
"Back in those days, everybody worked together in law enforcement. We made a lot of arrests, a lot of drug arrests, and we got a lot of crime off the street," Thompson said.