More than 700 arrested in joint law enforcement operation in North Mississippi

Published 7:45 am Thursday, April 28, 2022

A month long joint federal, state and local law enforcement initiative organized in response to an increase in violent crime in the area has resulted in the arrests of more than 700 individuals in North Mississippi on a variety of charges including homicide, aggravated assault, aggravated domestic assault, child abuse, child sexual assault, drug distribution, unlawful gun crime, DUI, and failure to register as a sex offender.

“Operation MPACT” (Mississippi Partnering Agencies Coming Together), a U.S. Marshals led initiative, brought together federal, state and local law enforcement partners from four areas of North Mississippi including Panola, Lee, Lowndes and Grenada Counties to target known offenders, deter crime and improve community and safety relations.

In addition to the 700 arrests for felony and misdemeanor offenses, Operation MPACT resulted in the seizure of $134,180 worth of narcotics, $50,720 worth of cash, and 38 firearms.

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Of the total arrests made during the operation, 350 were for felony offenses and 56 were gang-related. The announcements concerning the MPACT results were made on Wednesday in Oxford by Danny McKittrick, U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Mississippi and Clay Joyner, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District along with state and local law enforcement partners.

Operation MPACT was organized in response to an increase in crime in the participating areas in recent months after several organized criminal groups operating out of Memphis and Chicago migrated to Mississippi via Interstate 55.

The operation commenced on March 1 in Panola County led by the U.S. Marshal Service’s Gulf Coast Regional Task Force with assistance from Sheriff Shane Phelps and members of his Department before moving to Grenada County on March 7 where Sheriff Rolando Fair and his Department assisted federal and state partners.  On March 14, the Operation moved to Lee County, where Sheriff Jim Johnson and Tupelo Police Chief John Quaka and their departments played key roles in the operation.

Operation MPACT finished at the end of March in Lowndes County with assistance from Sheriff Eddie Hawkins and his Department.