9 arrested in Hattiesburg drug investigation

9 arrested in Hattiesburg drug investigation
Nine people have been arrested on drug charges after a long-term joint operation between the DEA and the Metro Narcotics Unit in Hattiesburg.

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Nine people have been arrested on drug charges after a long-term joint operation between the DEA and the Metro Narcotics Unit in Hattiesburg.

Hattiesburg Police Department spokesman Ryan Moore said more arrest warrants are expected to be served following an investigation that began in 2017 and targeted cases on drug offenders in the Hattiesburg area.

During the operation, agents seized four weapons, illegal narcotics, including roughly 30 crack rocks and roughly $13,000 in cash, according to Moore.

“This investigation is the culmination of a lot of long hours and good police work,” said Hattiesburg Police Chief Anthony Parker. “We value our partnerships with other agencies, and when we can all come together and work towards the greater good, we accomplish our goals.”

The following suspects have been charged in the investigation:

  • Rikki Johnson, 35, of Hattiesburg, was charged with sale of a controlled substance (crack cocaine) and possession of a weapon by a convicted fealon. 
  • Antonio Haynes,37, of Hattiesburg, was charged with sale of a controlled substance. 
  • Patryce Graham, 46, of Hattiesburg, was charged with sale of a controlled substance.
  • Steven McCallum, 35, of Hattiesburg, was charged with sale of a controlled substance (crack cocaine).
  • Luther Dye, 35, of Petal, was charged with possession of methamphetamine. 
  • Wiley Payton, 36, of Hattiesburg, was charged with sale of a controlled substance (crack cocaine).
  • Rodriguez Barnes, 40, of New Orleans, was charged with sale of a controlled substance (heroin).
  • Melvin Manassa, 50, of Hattiesburg, was charged with sale of a controlled substance (marijuana), possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana within 1500 feet of a church/school.
  • Perry Hill, 32, of Hattiesburg, was charged with possession of a controlled substance (crack cocaine) and sale of a controlled substance (crack cocaine). 

“We are making the streets and neighborhoods safer,” Parker said. “These types of collaborations with other law enforcement agencies is what it will take for the Hattiesburg Police Department to reach its goal of becoming the premier police department in the Gulf South.”

Moore said the Hattiesburg Police Department, DEA, HIDTA Task Force, Metro Narcotics, U.S. Marshals, MDOC, ATF, Homeland Security, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Lamar, Forrest and Jones County sheriff’s departments participated in the investigation.

“Our neighborhoods deserve to exist without fear and intimidation inflicted by violent drug gangs,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge J. Derryle Smith. “The arrests in this investigation demonstrate to the citizens of Mississippi that federal, state, and local law enforcement can come together and accomplish great things. It should serve as a warning to those who prey on the weak and defenseless through their drug trafficking and violent acts. We will continue to work with all of our law enforcement partners, to relentlessly pursue these violent criminals and drug traffickers plaguing our communities.”

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