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HPD Responds to missing equipment

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HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

Averal "Junior" Burnett, charged with one count of forcible rape, appeared before Lamar County Circuit Court Judge Tony Mozingo where he was denied bond again Monday morning.

Details of his work history and training were addressed by state prosecutors during the motion hearing.

The former Hattiesburg Police officer was questioned about tactical equipment issued to him by HPD that was still in his possession.

According to law enforcement officers, despite not being employed by HPD for nearly 18 months, items such as flash-bangs, tear gas canisters, night-vision equipment and a shotgun were recovered when officers searched a home connected with Burnett.

“We were contacted by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations about items they had found during their investigation,” said Hattiesburg Police Lt. Jon Traxler. “At that time, we began working with them trying to find out how he had that property with him, of course, the thing about the flash bangs, and the tear gas canisters those are used not only in tactical situations, but they are also used in training scenarios and those are considered expendable items of inventory,” said Traxler.

According to Hattiesburg Police Department officials, the investigation is still ongoing and they would not list any more specifics about missing equipment.