PEARL RIVER COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Pearl River County deputies are asking the public for any information about a group of individuals from Gulfport and Biloxi who is associated with various thefts and schemes.
The individuals are: Courtney Goff, 23 of Biloxi; John Holquist, 43 of Gulfport; Darius Lofton, 26, of Biloxi; and Erick McCray, 28 of Gulfport.
Deputies say they received a report from a tractor business in Picayune on February 12 about a counterfeit cashiers check. The business told deputies they sold a tractor to some individuals. The people reportedly used a cashiers check in the amount of $24,700. A couple of days later, the business discovered the check was fake.
Deputies say an investigation led them to the Gulf Coast. According to officials, suspects that passed the check were residents of Biloxi and Gulfport. For the past three weeks, officials have been investigating and identified the individuals previously mentioned.
Authorities began arresting the suspects in mid-February, ending with the last one being taken into custody this week. All four are charged with felony conspiracy to commit false pretense and felony false pretense. Goff, Holquist and Lofton have all bonded out. McCray is in custody at the Pearl River County Jail. He’s being held on a $20,000 bond.
Deputies say the group is associated with other schemes and thefts in Ocean Springs and Mobile and authorities believe they have stolen or falsely obtained: multiple brand-new utility vehicles, one farm tractor, and several ATVs. None of these items are in the sheriff’s office’s possession, and the department isn’t sure how long they’ve been doing these illegal activities.
The Pearl River County Sheriff’s Office is meeting with the Secret Service to assess their interest in prosecuting the case on a federal level because of the dollar amount of the thefts and the multi-jurisdictional nature of the case.
Deputies say other people may be involved and more arrests may be made. Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Office at 601-798-5528 or Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at 877-787-5898.